Youth Rights: Interacting with Police & Criminal Records

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CONTENTS

INTERACTING WITH THE POLICE

 

YOUTH CRIMINAL RECORDS

 

YOUTH RECORD CAN BECOME AN ADULT RECORD

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I MISS MY COURT DATE

 

WHERE TO GET HELP OR MORE INFORMATION

 


 

INTERACTING WITH THE POLICE

WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS WHEN YOU ARE ARRESTED?

You have the right:

  • Not to talk to police [but, you must tell them your name, address & birthday]
  • You do not have to answer questions or make a statement
  • To talk to a lawyer privately - you must be provided with phone numbers to contact a lawyer. You can call Legal Aid at 1-866-845-3425.
  • To talk to your parents or a trusted adult (if you are under 18)
  • To be told what you are being arrested for
  • To be told the officer's name & badge number


 

WHEN CAN POLICE SEARCH YOU?

  • Police asked & you consented
  • You have been arrested
  • Police have a search warrant
  • Police find you in an area where they are searching for drugs
  • Police find you in a vehicle where people are drinking
  • Police have reason to think you have:

1. A weapon that is illegal or was used to commit a crime, or

2. Evidence of a crime that you are about to destroy

 

 

HOW CAN I MAKE A COMPLAINT?

Hopefully both the officer and you have been respectful to each other. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, you can make a formal or informal complaint.

Informal: Call the professional standards line at (780) 421-2676

Formal: Write & sign a letter to the Chief of Police within one year. Include who, what, when, where, how, & any witness names. You will be contacted for an in-person interview within a month.

 

YOUTH CRIMINAL RECORDS

HOW LONG WILL MY YOUTH RECORD LAST?

Generally, a youth record will last for 2 months to 5 years, depending on the offence & the sentence.

For example:

  • Charge is dismissed: 2 months
  • Charge is stayed: 1 year
  • Absolute discharge: 1 year
  • Extrajudicial sanction: 2 years
  • Conditional discharge: 3 years
  • Summary conviction: 3 years after the sentence is completed
  • Conviction for an indictable offence: 5 years after the sentence is completed

 

To find out what your charge is, please contact your lawyer.

*This can be extended if you commit another offence during this time.

** If you turn 18 & commit another offence during this time, your youth record will become part of your adult record.

 

 

WHO CAN SEE MY YOUTH RECORD?

  • You
  • A government employer
  • A non-government employer if you give them permission
  • Police
  • Your lawyer & Crown prosecutors
  • Your parents or guardians
  • The victim
  • Directors at EYOC (Edmonton Young Offender Centre)
  • Persons involved in a youth justice conference

 

YOUTH RECORD CAN BECOME AN ADULT RECORD

WHAT IF I GET AN ADULT RECORD?

  • Adult records do not expire, but can be set aside if you apply for a record suspension (which used to be called a "pardon")
  • You have to wait 5-10 years after you have finished your sentence (all jail time, probation periods, & fines) before you can get a record suspension
    • 5 years for a summary conviction
    • 10 years for an indictable offence
  • The application fee is $631, plus any costs related to filling in the paperwork: $50 for digital fingerprints, $70 for a local police information check, & any identification costs if you have lost or stolen ID

 

 

WHAT ARE THE LIMITS OF AN ADULT RECORD SUSPENSION?

  • It does not completely erase a record
    • The federal government still has access
  • It does not guarantee entry to another country when you travel
  • Sexual offences are flagged and will still show in a vulnerable sector criminal record check
    • Ex. to work or volunteer with children
  • It can be taken away
    • Ex. if you are convicted of a new offence

 

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I MISS MY COURT DATE?

I HAVE BEEN CHARGED. WHAT DO I DO?

If you are 12 years or older and 17 or younger, and you break the law, you may have to go to Youth Justice Court. This is different from adult criminal court. If told to go to court, you are required to appear. The document the police gave you tells WHEN and WHERE you must appear in court. You may also be required to go to the police station to be fingerprinted and photographed OR if a fine is indicated on the document from the police, the back of the ticket will tell you what to do.

 

 

YOU MUST ATTEND YOUR FIRST APPEARANCE COURT DATE

If you retain a lawyer later, they can appear for you. Whether or not you must go to all future court appearances depends on your specific case. But, the general rule is that a youth must appear in court themselves. A FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT MAY RESULT IN A WARRANT BEING ISSUED FOR YOUR ARREST. You also may be charged with another offence for missing the court date.

 

 

WARRANT ISSUED FOR YOUR ARREST?

If there is a warrant issued for your arrest, one of the only options is to turn yourself in as soon as possible. Warrants often take up to two weeks to go through the system and be processed for the police. However, the longer you wait to turn yourself into the police, the worse the consequences may be.

 

WHERE TO GET HELP OR MORE INFORMATION

**If you ever need help but don’t know where to go, dial 2-1-1.

The operator will be able to tell you about the resources in Edmonton: places to stay, people to talk to, legal help, or food and clothing.

 


Elizabeth Fry Court Assistants for Female Youth

4th Floor of Provincial Court House

97th Street Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB T5J 0R2

Contact:

Ph: 780-422-4775

Email: courtmanager@efryedmonton.ab.ca

Connects female youth facing charges to mentors who provide support, explain court procedures, provide legal referrals and advocacy in court. The program assists those appearing in Provincial Criminal Docket Courts in Edmonton and the surrounding area.

 

Legal Aid Society of Alberta

Revillon Building

Suite 600 – 10320 102 Avenue

Edmonton, AB T5J 4A1

Contact:

Toll free: 1-866-845-3425

Youth Criminal Defence Office: 780-422-8383

Web: www.legalaid.ab.ca

The Legal Aid Society of Alberta functions to assist low-income Albertans with certain types of legal matters. Assistance is provided through information, referrals, advice, and/or representation, depending on what your matter is and which eligibility guidelines you meet.

 

Native Counselling Services Courtworker

Program

10975 – 124 Street

Edmonton, AB T5M 0H9

Contact:

Ph: 780-423-2141

Email: info@ncsa.ca

Web: www.bearpaweducation.ca/youth

Youth courtworkers who can explain your charge and the court process to you, and provide support and advocacy. Information about your rights and the law can be found on their website.

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA)

#600 – 9925 109 Street NW

Edmonton, AB T5K 2J8

Contact:

Toll free: 1-800-661-3446

Email: ca.information@OCYA.alberta.ca

 The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) will help children and youth voice their opinions, concerns, wants, and needs during various decision-making processes so that the best interests of the child/youth are better understood. The OCYA ensures that the voice of the child/youth is heard and that their rights are protected throughout the intervention process. 


Old Strathcona Youth Society (OSYS)

10325 83 Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T6E 2C6

Contact:

Ph: 780-496-5947

 The Old Strathcona Youth Society (OSYS) is a drop-in center for youths, ages 16-24 that provides a safe place for youths to go to for information and referrals. There are recreational programs as well as housing, harm reduction, food, and employment and education programs available to youths.


Student Legal Services

11036 88 Ave NW

Edmonton, AB T6G 0Z2

Contact:

Ph: 780-492-2226

 Law students who provide legal information, but not individual legal advice. The students can provide free legal assistance, for less serious matters, to those over 18 & considered low income

 

Youth Attendance Centre

10931 – 120 Street

Edmonton, AB T5H 3P9

Contact:

Ph: 780-422-1101

Programs for youth serving community sentences or transitioning out of custody. Includes educational programming, administration of community service work, and fine option program

 

Youth Empowerment and Support Services

(YESS)

Armoury Resource Centre

10310 85 Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T6E 5R3

Contact:

Ph: 780-468-7070

Youth Empowerment and Support Services works with marginalized youths by providing programs for emergency and long-term housing, medical care, addictions and mental health counselling, education, and meals. They also partner with other agencies, such as those for legal advocacy, addictions counselling, and human services, to ensure that a youth receives well-rounded support.