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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Crown Caution in Oshawa?

A Crown caution is a formal warning issued by the Crown prosecutor after the police have referred a case to them. They are similar to police cautions, which are formal warnings issued by the police if and when they find a young person committing an offence. The young person must still be held accountable for their offence, but it may not be in the public interest to use court resources to prosecute minor crimes committed by minors.

A crown caution is a part of a series of measures called extrajudicial measures. These measures are alternative to the criminal justice system and can hold young persons accountable for their actions. Extrajudicial measures may include rehabilitative programs, counselling, cautions, or no measure at all. If the case is more severe, the offender may be subject to extrajudicial sanctions, which are more serious than extrajudicial measures.

Will My Name or Identity be Released to the Public as a Youth in Oshawa?

No. The name or identity of a young person charged with a criminal offence will not be released to the public. Section 110(1) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act protects any child and young person under the age of 18 from having any identifying factors about them published. Like all courts, the Youth Justice Court (designated as the Ontario Court of Justice in Ontario) is an open forum and welcomes any member of the public or media to attend and observe. The media however, may only release the accused’s gender, age, and charges, and cannot reveal any photos or other identifying features or information.

If the young person has received an adult sentence, they are not protected by section 110(1) of the YCJA. If the young person reaches the age of 18 years, and is no longer in custody, they may publish or cause to be published any identifying information of their involvement with the YCJA or the Young Offenders Act.

Stages of the Criminal Justice System

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What’s the Difference Between Judicial Measures and Extrajudicial Measures?

The goal of the Youth Criminal Justice Act is to effectively provide timely responses to young persons committing a crime. Extrajudicial measures are measures outside of the criminal justice system that can hold a young person accountable. Rehabilitation is the primary goal of the Act. Section 4 of the YCJA enumerates several principles which the Court must abide by when dealing with young persons. Section 4(a) states that extrajudicial measures are “often the most appropriate and effective way to address youth crime.” Section 4(b)states that “extrajudicial measures allow for effective and timely interventions focused on correcting offending behaviour.” Extrajudicial measures are most often used for non-violent offences or for young persons who have committed a first offence.

Section 6(1) of the YCJA makes it necessary for police officers to consider whether it would be sufficient or not to warn a person, administer a formal police caution, or refer the young person to a community program. Police cautions are enumerated in section 7 of the Act while crown cautions are enumerated under section 8 of the Act. It is up to the police officer’s discretion to formally charge the young person. Where the police do lay formal criminal charges, and the young person is formally prosecuted, that is a judicial measure.

What’s a Crime in Canada?

What Are Some Common Bail Conditions in Oshawa?

Typically, when a young offender is out on bail, they will reside with their parents at a certain location. In some cases, the Court may require the parent to act as a third-party surety to supervise the young person. Section 157 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act gives the Attorney General of Canada the power to create programs in the province such as programs that are alternatives to detention before sentencing, such as bail supervision programs. Section 28 to 31 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act details the detention and release of a young person.

Section 31(1) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act allows a young person to be placed with a responsible person instead of being detained in custody. The surety must be responsible and willing and able to take care and exercise control over the young person. Furthermore, the young person must be willing to be placed in the care of the responsible person. The surety would have to pledge to take care of and be responsible for the young person’s attendance in court and/or to comply with any other conditions. Some common conditions may include obeying the surety, prohibiting access to certain places, prohibiting communication with others, or requiring the young person to go to a school or program.

Other common bail conditions for youth offenders in Oshawa include remaining in the territorial jurisdiction, not having contact with the complainant or witnesses in the case, not having weapons, not attending certain locations and notifying the officer in charge of any change in name, address, school, or occupation.

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Recent Cases

R. v. O.S., 2022 ONSC 3935 

In the Ontario Superior Court of Justice case of R. v. O.S., the accused was charged with first degree murder and attempted murder. The accused went to a massage parlour in Toronto with a sword concealed under his coat. When he entered the reception area, he found and repeatedly stabbed the front desk female employee. The employee died on the scene from 42 stab wounds. Another female employee, after hearing the attack, went to the reception area and confronted the accused. The accused chased the employee, calling her a “stupid whore.” She managed to gain control of the sword and stabbed him in the back, suffering a stab to the chest in the process.

When the police arrived at the scene, they discovered the accused’s sword had the words “Thot Slayer” inscribed upon the blade. They also discovered a plastic bag containing the accused’s driver’s license, a knife sharpening stone, and a note that had the words “Long Live the Incel Rebellion” written on it. The accused was charged with first degree murder with two classifications: planned and deliberate (s. 231(2)) and death caused when committing terrorist activity (s. 231(6.01)). The applicant argued that the combined charges of ss. 231(2) and (6.01) violates his section 7 and section 11(b) Charter rights. Section 7 of the Charter enumerates the right to life, liberty and security of the person; while section 11(d) guarantees the right to be presumed innocent until found guilty. The accused argued that his conviction by jury was unclear, as he did not understand the reason for which he was convicted. The Court rejected his application, as previous case law has shown repeatedly that juries may arrive to the same conclusion with different reasons. The application for review was dismissed.

R. v. C.Z., 2022 ONCJ 152

In the Ontario Court of Justice case of R. v. C.Z., the accused was 16 when he was charged with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm. A family of five was on the front lawn of their house, next to a street with a designated speed limit of 40 km/h. The accused’s girlfriend lived on the same street. The accused, speeding at 100 km/h, lost control of the car, hit and killed two children as well as injuring one adult.

A pre-sentence report was prepared. The accused had 47 letters of reference and support from family, teachers, and friends. He had excellent grades in school, is successful in extra-curricular activities, and has been accepted into a university. He has taken therapy sessions since the incident and has expressed genuine remorse and insight into his offences. As young persons have a diminished moral blameworthiness and/or culpability as their cognitive abilities are not fully developed, there is more emphasis placed on rehabilitation. Due to the seriousness of the offence, the Court deemed a custodial sentence necessary. The offender was sentenced to 12 months in open custody, followed by 6 months in the community. Ancillary orders of a six-year driving prohibition, a DNA order, and a youth probation of one year after the completion of his community supervision.

R. v. R.O., 2022 ONSC 1487

In the Ontario Superior Court of Justice case of R. v. R.O., the accused pleaded guilty to second degree murder under s. 235(1) of the Criminal Code. The accused was 14 years old at the time of the offence. After a history of misunderstandings and altercations that involved several other youths, the accused stabbed the victim in the back. The accused had believed his brother to be in danger at the time but admits that his conduct was unreasonable and unjustified. He also admitted that he intended to cause serious bodily harm and was reckless whether death occurred or not.

There were six victim impact statements filed. The accused and his brother were involved in selling illicit narcotics. He has had a traumatic and unstable childhood and family life, which includes parental mental health difficulties, addiction issues, domestic violence, criminality, and interventions from the Children’s Aid Society. He appears to have accepted responsibility and is remorseful about his actions. The offender was sentenced to seven years, with four years in custody and three years under conditional supervision. There was a no-contact order, a DNA order, and a lifetime weapons prohibition.

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About the Author

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Jordan Donich

Jordan Donich has been a Lawyer for over 10 years and is a trusted legal analyst by Canadian Media. He is as a leader in Canada’s tech sector for lawyers and developer of Law Newbie. Jordan is a Black Belt with the Japan Karate Association and trained in Krav Maga. He won a Gold Medal at 2004 Canadian National Championships and was published in the National Newspaper Awards.

Jordan has been featured in Forbes and is a member of DMZ Angels in Toronto.