I have a youth record for shoplifting that happened last year. What does it mean that my youth record is open?
An open youth record
When your youth record is open, certain people, including you, can see the information that's in your record. Some of the other people who can see the information are your lawyer, your parents, judges, the police, Crown attorneys, and probation officers.
The time that your youth record is open is sometimes called the "period of access" or "access period". Some people call an open record an "accessible" record.
Even when your youth record is open, it's still against the law for most people to tell others that you're involved in the youth criminal justice system.
A closed youth record
After a certain amount of time, your youth record is usually closed. This means that people can't find out what was in your record or even that you had a record, unless they get a special court order.
Only you and your lawyer can see your record without needing a special court order.
When your youth record is closed, the law sees you as never having committed a crime. And it's against the law for anyone to give any information about your record.
There are only a very few times when some of the information in a youth record can be kept by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). And then only a select group of people can see the information. This happens only if you commit a serious violent crime.
When will my youth record be closed?
Your youth record isn't closed when you turn 18. It might be closed before you turn 18. Or, it can stay open long after. The length of time your youth record lasts is not related to when you turn 18.
When your youth record is closed depends on:
For more information see: Youth Criminal Records: Will my youth record go away when I turn 18?