Factors Which May Affect Sentencing under The Young Offenders Act

The Criminal Code of Canada, the Young Offenders Act and other statutes contain maximum penalties only. Actual sentence imposed will be within the maximum for the specific offence or offences and will be based on many factors.

Please note that the Sentences Imposed on Young Offenders Tables show a spectrum or range of probable sentences based on the history of previous dispositions in the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) Family Court at Brampton. Consult a lawyer to assist you in preparation for sentencing. Your lawyer will gather evidence for sentencing purposes and make persuasive submissions to the Court respecting your unique case. Some of the following factors may be considered by your lawyer, by the Crown, and by the Court in imposing sentence under the Young Offenders Act.

bulletOf what offence or offences, if any, is the young person really guilty?
bulletAre alternative measures available?
bulletDoes the young person have a prior Youth Court record?
bulletIs this incident a serious example or a minor example of the offence?
bulletThe absence or presence of aggravating factors.
bulletPremeditation, planning
bulletPosition of trust
bulletAge and vulnerability of victim
bulletAlcohol involved
bulletDegree of force
bulletRepeated Acts
bulletSanctity of the home
bulletWeapon used
bulletSeveral offenders, gang
bulletAccused as leader
bulletProfit motive
bulletNature of drug
bulletThe absence or presence of mitigating factors.
bulletGood character otherwise
bulletGuilty plea
bulletBackground of Offender
bulletAge of Offender
bulletWillingness for rehabilitation
bulletMental Capacity
bulletNature of criminal record
bulletAmount or value stolen or damaged
bulletAssisting Authorities
bulletSentencing on other charges at the same time.
bulletThe sentence received by a co-accused.
bulletSupportive parents present in Court.
bulletA good or bad pre-disposition report.
bulletThe young person's general character and reputation in the community.
bulletCharacter witnesses at Court
bulletCharacter reference letters
bulletPosition taken by the complainant or victim
bulletCriminal or other behaviour pending disposition
bulletA treatment plan.
bulletIn what way did the parents already discipline the young person as a result of the incident.
bulletThe position taken by the the Crown as to appropriate sentence.
bulletA joint submission by the Crown and defence.
bulletThe need for specific deterrence (does a custodial term need to be imposed to discourage this young person from offending again?) .
bulletPrevalence of the crime in the community
bulletDoes the Crown have evidence that this crime is a serious problem in the community?
bulletIs there a government initiative to "crack down" on this crime?
bulletThe need for general deterrence (does a custodial term need to be imposed to discourage other young persons and adults from committing a similar crime?)

Contact your lawyer for help on sentencing:

Stephen R. Biss, B.A., LL.B.

Barrister and Solicitor

470 Hensall Circle
Mississauga, Ontario
L5A 1X7

E-mail: biss@lawyers.ca

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Advertisement. Any legal opinions expressed at this site relate to the Province of Ontario, Canada only. If you reside or carry on business in any other jurisdiction please consult a lawyer, solicitor, or attorney in your own jurisdiction. WARNING: All information contained herein is provided for the purpose of providing basic information only and should not be construed as formal legal advice. The author disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance upon such information. You are strongly encouraged to seek and retain professional legal advice before relying upon any of the information contained herein.

Copyright 1997, Stephen R. Biss