What is the Law?

The system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.

So Basically…..Rule a particular country or community uses to keep order. When you break the law, you face consequences.

Why do we have laws?

Laws are designed to create order  and they apply to everyone – not just a specific group.

What happens if a young person breaks the law?

The laws that are used to deal with young people fall under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The YCJA deals with young people between the ages of 12 and 17.

If a young person breaks the law they will be arrested. Their parent/guardian is then notified of the arrest and asked to make an appearance at the police station / place of arrest.  The young person is usually released at this point and given a date to have their photograph and finger prints done as well as a court date, in which they will need to appear to answer to the charge. When they go to court, they will appear before a judge and sentencing will be issued.

If you are not yet old enough to be penalized under the YCJA, you can still be arrested – just not charged.  The Children’s Aid Society is notified in these circumstances and they could, potentially remove the young person from their home.

Possible Penalties when a youth is found guilty in Youth Court

  • Return property
  • Absolute discharge/Conditional Discharge
  • Restitution
  • Custody/Supervision Order
  • Fine Up to $1000
  • Probation up to 2 years

A criminal record is a list of your past criminal activities and consists of charges, warrants, convictions and judicial orders, amongst other information. A criminal record remains with you throughout your life. It can affect travel, school, volunteer and employment opportunities. Many employers, including the Canadian government cannot, or refuse to, hire someone with a criminal record.

Probation is a sentencing option available to a judge when an offender has committed certain categories of crimes. If the rules of probation are not followed, you could face additional consequences.

Some of the terms of a probation order may include:

  • Reporting to a probation officer
  • Curfew
  • Non-Association (with specific people)
  • Support/Treatment Programs
  • Community Service
  • Restricted use of electronic devices
  • Restricted access to certain locations such as stores, malls or arenas
  • Keep the peace and be of good behaviour


Common Criminal Offences


The crime of damaging property owned by another person.

The crime of taking property belonging to another without that person’s consent.

The crime of repeated conduct, over time, that causes victims to reasonably fear for their safety.

The crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of imminent bodily injury.

The crime of applying force, directly or indirectly to another person without their consent.

The crime of entering a property without consent of the owner

The crime of possessing illegal drugs for personal use, distribution, sale or otherwise.

What to do if you know someone that is planning to or has committed an offence

  • Try and talk them out of it
  • Explain possibilities
  • Call Crime Stoppers to report it anonymously
  • Tell an adult you trust
  • Report it to Police