Youth Criminal Law – Does my child need a lawyer?

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If you are the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18 in Calgary or throughout Alberta who has been charged with a crime, then your child  needs a lawyer who has expereience in Youth Court matters. A youth who has been charged with an offence has a right to obtain and instruct counsel without delay. Children or youth under the age of 12 who have committed a crime will not be arrested and will not go to court. They are typically dealt with by child and youth services or a mental health agency if parents cannot deal with the problems

What will your lawyer do?

The lawyer will provide necessary advice on arrest or detention and can be present at any interrogations by the police. The lawyer will assess the case and work for the young person to achieve the best possible results.  The lawyer can be privately retained or appointed by the court from the Legal Aid Youth Office. The lawyer will speak to the young person and make decisions with the young person. These decisions involve everything from diversion out of the courts to trial and disposition.

As a youth, you are ultimately responsible for making decisions about your case. Your lawyer provides advice, but you must make the final decisions about your case — not your parents, your social worker, your youth worker, or anyone else. You don’t have to follow your lawyer’s advice. But remember that their advice is based on special knowledge and experience

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act parents or guardians have the right to be notified when their son/daughter has been:

  • Arrested
  • Dealt with by extrajudicial sanctions
  • Given a summons, appearance notice or promise to appear
  • Given a ticket, other than a parking ticket

Parents or guardians attend court with their son or daughter and can provide meaningful support and input in regards to bail, disposition and related matters.

Contact Maureen McConaghy for Youth Legal Needs in Calgary

Maureen is a Youth Criminal Defence Lawyer in Calgary who spent her early years as a prosecutor in the Youth Court and knows the special procedures and guidelines when youth are prosecuted. She takes these cases as seriously as her adult offenders and vigorously defends them as often there is insufficient evidence to prove the charges.

Call today for a free consultation: 403.560.8178