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How long are youth criminal records retained?

Region: Ontario Answer # 2136

Youth criminal records are retained for specific periods of time as determined by the YCJA. The time frame for which the records are accessible is called the period of access. With certain exceptions (see chart below), after the expiry of these time limits, often called the non-disclosure date, a youth’s criminal record cannot be disclosed to anyone, and must be removed and, in the case of records held in the RCMP Identification data bank, destroyed.

The waiting times that must pass until the non-disclosure dates are reached depends on the outcome of the charge:

Youth charges period of access

After the non-disclosure date has been reached, a person wanting to access youth criminal records can apply to the court. Here, access can be granted if a judge is satisfied that the person has a valid interest in the record and that disclosure would be in the interest of the proper administration of justice. Disclosure must not be prohibited under any other federal or provincial legislation. Alternatively, access can be granted if the judge is satisfied that disclosure is desirable in the public interest for research or statistical purposes. In granting access, the judge must set out the purposes for which the record may be used.

For more information on removing a youth criminal record, refer to How are youth criminal records sealed or destroyed?

Get help

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.

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