Children with special needs can often find themselves in conflict with the law. What can start as a distress call can evolve into criminal charges.
Once children are charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, it is important that they remain free of a criminal record.
This is possible when dealing with a special needs child, more so than when dealing with other children in conflict with the law.
It is important to involve a lawyer at an early opportunity. The police have the discretion to divert a youth prior to charging them. If a lawyer is involved they can inform the police of the particular challenges that your child faces. You may even find that it is helpful to register your child with your local police forcE. If you register your autistic child with the police force they can arrive equipped to deal with your child. Their database can contain your child’s challenges, triggers and particular special needs. That way the police can interpret their behaviours accurately.
If the police remain involved, counsel can advocate on their behalf prior to the police deciding to charge a youth. Pre charge diversion can involve counselling, apology letters, or community service hours. However, some of these options may not be available to a special needs child. Counsel that has working and current knowledge of your child can advocate for an appropriate version of pre charge diversion.
If your child is charged and has special needs, it is vital that you involve a lawyer that has experience dealing with special needs clients, as soon as possible. Counsel can advocate with the Crown for diversion that is appropriate for your child. Similar to pre charge diversion, post charge diversion can help your child avoid a criminal record. Upon successful completion of diversion, charges can be withdrawn. However it is important to arrange for diversion that is appropriate for your child so that they can
complete diversion successfully. It is necessary that you provide counsel with information that confirms your child’s challenges. That way they can advocate with the Crown as soon as possible.
If charges are more serious, diversion may not be possible. If this is the case, counsel is key to obtaining a favourable result for your child. It may be necessary to have a trial. It is necessary that counsel have experience dealing with children with special needs. It is your child that has to instruct counsel. But in order to do so, they must be made aware of their rights and options in an appropriate manner.
If you find your child charged, then do not hesitate to employ the services of an efficient lawyer. The internet is the best place to find an expert located near you. Make sure to do a localized search to find lawyers near you. For instance, if you are based in Brnaford, then make sure to include the name of your place in your search like ‘Criminal Lawyer Brantford’, to locate lawyers near you.