Factors of Youth Sentencing

From Criminal Law Notebook

This page was last substantively updated or reviewed January 2020. (Rev. # 94748)

General Principle

See also: Principles and Purposes of Youth Sentencing, Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offence, and Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offender

[omitted (1) and (2)]

Factors to be considered

(3) In determining a youth sentence, the youth justice court shall take into account

(a) the degree of participation by the young person in the commission of the offence;
(b) the harm done to victims and whether it was intentional or reasonably foreseeable;
(c) any reparation made by the young person to the victim or the community;
(d) the time spent in detention by the young person as a result of the offence;
(e) the previous findings of guilt of the young person; and
(f) any other aggravating and mitigating circumstances related to the young person or the offence that are relevant to the purpose and principles set out in this section.

2002, c. 1, s. 38; 2012, c. 1, s. 172; 2019, c. 25, s. 371.


Note up: 38(3)

More restrictive sentences are required where:[1]

  • The manifestation of unnecessary violence[2]
  • Where they involved a violent offence committed to fulfill a desire to engage in violent behaviour[3]
  • Where the offence is associated with weapons[4]
  • Where the offence is conducted without regard for the consequences of the offence[5]
  • Where the offence is part of a series of offences which have escalating violence and severity[6]
  • Where the offence was planned by the youth and involved an intent to harm.[7]

A offence that occurs while being on bail is aggravating.[8]

The absence of a criminal record is mitigating.[9]

The offender's responsibility will be reduced where the act occurs in unusual circumstances, out of character, or was the product of impulsivity.[10]

The court must take into account the offender's relative low level of maturity, poor education, absence of adult guidance and history of disadvantage.[11]

Remand Credit

Section 38(3)(d) does not prevent the imposition of a maximum penalty despite the presence of reman credit.[12]

  1. R v RM, 2014 MBPC 18 (CanLII), per Corrin J, at para 62 -- see for overview of principles
  2. R v CWW, 2006 ABPC 191 (CanLII), 403 AR 344, per Easton J, at paras 20, 44 and 403
    R v MD, 2008 ONCJ 310 (CanLII), 77 WCB (2d) 844, per Finnestad J, at paras 47 and 77
    R v Lights, 2007 ONCJ 173 (CanLII), 75 WCB (2d) 457, per Trotter J, at paras 49 and 75
    R v Smith, 2009 NSCA 8 (CanLII), 241 CCC (3d) 10, per Hamilton JA, at paras 40 and 41
  3. Smith, ibid., at paras 40 and 41
  4. CWW, supra, at paras 20 and 44
    MD, supra, at para 47
    R v BCF, 2008 SKPC 98 (CanLII), 79 WCB (2d) 410, per Halliday J, at paras 29 and 79
    R v JSR, 2009 CanLII 18884 (ON SC), 2009 OJ No 1662 (Ont. SCJ), per Nordheimer J, at paras 63 to 64
  5. R v DDP, 2007 BCCA 206 (CanLII), 218 CCC (3d) 298, per Saunders JA, at paras 64 and 239
    MD, supra, at para 47
  6. MD, supra, at paras 19 and 47
    R v CRB, 2009 SKQB 176 (CanLII), 334 Sask R 137, per Acton J, at para 36
  7. BCF, supra, at para 30
    R v SRB, 2009 ABCA 45 (CanLII), 243 CCC (3d) 419, per curiam (2:1), at paras 12 to 16
  8. R v BKTS, 2009 MBQB 56 (CanLII), 237 Man R (2d) 243, per Beard J
  9. R v AJD, 2009 NSSC 56 (CanLII), 877 APR 308, per A Boudreau J, at para 53
  10. R v TWT, 2008 ABCA 306 (CanLII), 437 AR 321, per curiam, at para 8
    AJD, supra, at para 51
  11. R v CK, 2006 ONCJ 283 (CanLII), 211 CCC (3d) 426, per Duncan J, at paras 47 to 48
    DDP, supra, at para 65
    TWT, supra, at para 8
  12. R v RRJ, 2009 BCCA 580 (CanLII), 250 CCC (3d) 3, per Frankel JA

See Also