When a young person is convicted of a criminal offence, the government records certain information about the offence and sentence and keeps those records. There are occasions where those records can be accessed or requested, most commonly in the form of a criminal record check. Some employers ask for criminal record checks as part of their application process. If you’ve been arrested or charged, it’s important to understand how access to these records work before making any decisions with respect to the resolution of your charges.
When a youth is charged with a crime, they get a youth record. The young person’s record will appear on a criminal record check during the Access Period. Once the Access Period is over, the records are sealed or destroyed. The disposition of the charge dictates the length of the Access Period . The Government of Canada’s website contains a chart that outlines the length of the Access Period.
|How Offence Is Dealt With / Type of Offence||How Long Before Record Will Be Sealed or Destroyed? (Access Period)|
|Youth is acquitted (other than verdict of not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder)||Two (2) months after the time allowed to file an appeal, or, if an appeal is filed, three (3) months after all proceedings related to the appeal are completed|
|Charge is dismissed or withdrawn||After two (2) months|
|Youth is found guilty and given a reprimand||After two (2) months|
|Charge is stayed||After one (1) year, if no further court proceedings have been taken|
|Extrajudicial sanction is imposed||Two (2) years after the young person has consented to the extrajudicial sanction|
|Youth is found guilty and given an absolute discharge||One (1) year after the young person has been found guilty|
|Youth is found guilty and given a conditional discharge||Three (3) years after the young person has been found guilty|
|Youth is found guilty and sentenced for summary conviction offence||Three (3) years after the sentence has been completed (any subsequent offence will result in an extension)|
|Youth is found guilty and sentenced for indictable offence||Five (5) years after the sentence has been completed (any subsequent offence will result in an extension)|
|Murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, or aggravated sexual assault||Record may be retained indefinitely|
|Certain scheduled offences||Record will be retained for an additional five (5) years|
|Youth is found guilty and receives an adult sentence||Record is treated as an adult record, and the rules applicable to adult records apply.|
|Person is convicted of an offence committed after he or she turns 18, while the access period for their youth offence is still open||Record for the youth offence will be treated as an adult record, and the rules applicable to adult records apply.|
If the person is over 18 years old and is convicted of an offence while the Access Period is still open, the youth record is converted into an adult record and will remain accessible forever, or until the person is granted a Record Suspension (previously called a pardon).
- Click here to read more about Youth Criminal Records
- Click here to read more about Youth Sentenced as Adults
Note: The information on this page is not legal advice.