How does sentencing work in youth criminal court?

4. Participate in reports and conferences

The judge may postpone or “” your sentencing to get a report or hold a conference.

Reports

The judge might order a , Gladue Report, or a medical/psychological report to get more information about you.

It’s in your best interest to cooperate with the person writing the report. If you don’t, your lack of cooperation can be used against you.  And, the judge could you so that an expert can examine you.

Any statement you give in the report can only be used by the judge to determine the best for you.

The report writer will talk to you and ask you questions about yourself and your background.

For example, the report writer may speak to your parents, your teachers, the victim, or other people who know you or know about the case. The report may include a recommendation about an appropriate sentence. But it’s up to the judge at the sentencing hearing whether to accept that recommendation.

After the report writer has spoken to all the relevant people they will submit the report to the judge. Your lawyer and the Crown will also get a copy.

You should review each report carefully with your lawyer before the sentencing hearing. Tell your lawyer if any parts of the report are wrong or incomplete. Your lawyer may be able to question the report writer in front of the judge to show why you think the report is wrong or incomplete.

Case conferences

A case conference, sometimes called a “youth justice committee”, is when a group of people meet to discuss your case. Examples of people who may be invited to a conference include:

  • you
  • the Crown
  • your lawyer
  • the police
  • your parents
  • your teachers
  • youth workers
  • the victim
  • community leaders

The group of people may write a recommendation to the judge about an appropriate sentence. But it’s up to the judge at the sentencing hearing whether to accept that recommendation.

If the judge or the Crown schedules a conference to discuss your possible sentence, you will usually be invited to attend. Your lawyer can also ask the judge for a case conference.

You should take all of the supporting documents you have collected for the sentencing hearing to the case conference. You will have a chance at the conference to explain why you think a particular sentence is appropriate.

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