A youth record refers to any document that connects a youth to a case under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. It is not the same as a criminal record in the adult justice system, which refers to a particular record held in police computer systems.
Youth records are made up of all the information produced or kept about your involvement with the criminal justice system. They can include police, court or government records or records kept by non-government agencies that provide services to youth.
Consequences of Having a Youth Record
Having a youth record might make it difficult to get some jobs or travel to other countries. This can be very discouraging. Your youth record may also result in increased sentences if you are found guilty of a future crime.
You do not have to apply for a pardon to have youth records removed. As long as you do not commit any more crimes, the record will become unavailable after a period of time. How long you have to wait for the record to become unavailable depends on how serious the offence was and what happened in court. However, if you are convicted of a crime as an adult while your youth record is still accessible, your youth record may be converted to an adult record. That will make it subject to the same rules and regulations as any other adult criminal record.
You should consider speaking to a lawyer if you would like legal information or advice.
Visit Legal Assistance (Services and Resources) for information on how to contact a lawyer.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can contact Legal Aid BC (formerly the Legal Services Society).