What You Need to Know About Being Charged as a Youth in Alberta


Getting charged with a crime is never a good scenario. This fact is further exacerbated if you’re a youth, as it can put you on the wrong path in life. There is a bundle of laws produced for youth ages 12 to 17 who find themselves in hot water.

Referred to as the Youth Criminal Justice Act, these laws state citizens are to be protected from the crimes of youth, youth who commit crimes must know how their actions have caused grief to the community, and the youth have the same rights as adults but don’t go to the same courts.

There are important details to be aware of when it comes to youth offences. And our team at Batting, Wyman Barristers, offers youth defence lawyers in Calgary to both educate and assist you in these manners.

Keep reading to learn more.

Possession of Drugs, Alcohol, or Firearms


Being charged with drug, alcohol, or firearms possession (especially at a young age) can impact you for the rest of your life. A criminal record such as this can obstruct your ability to travel, get jobs, gain citizenship to other countries, etc.

If it happens to only be your first offence, the judge may discharge you upon request. If the conditions are met for the discharge, you may be able to stave off getting a criminal record.

Possession of Alcohol

In Alberta, the drinking age is 18. Those under 18 years of age are minors. If you’re under the legal drinking age, the following laws apply:

  • You cannot buy alcohol for or give alcohol to a minor.
  • Minors are not allowed in any kind of private liquor store unless accompanied by a guardian or parent.
  • Minors are welcome in restaurant lounges while accompanied by an adult, however, they are not to be served alcohol
  • Minors 16 years of age or older may serve alcohol in restaurants, but they are not permitted to open bottles, pour, or mix them.
  • Minors are not allowed to work; selling or serving alcohol in a pub, bar, or nightclub.


Underage individuals found with alcohol on their person, attempting to purchase alcohol, located in a pub, bar, or nightclub, or trying to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol can get a $230 ticket.

Possession of Firearms

There are severe penalties for the misuse or unlawful possession of firearms. For instance, first-time lawbreakers who fail to register restricted firearms might be prosecuted under the Criminal Code and Firearms Act.

Minor’s Licence

Youth who are under 18 years old are not permitted to bring any such weapons into Canada or purchase these firearms. However, they can utilize them when in possession of a minor’s license. This license allows an individual under the age of 18 to use ordinary shotguns and rifles for these reasons:

  • Hunting
  • Firearms teaching (being instructed)
  • Arranged shooting tournaments
  • Target practice

Adolescents and Gangs

A sad reality today is that some youth become affiliated with gangs. Such groups safeguard their “territory” from rival gangs, police officers, and even the general public through means of threats, cruelty, and violence.

There are clear links to certain youthful actions and the likelihood of getting caught up in criminal activity. Children most likely to get involved with a gang are the ones who display these types of behaviours:

  • Reduced time with family. Lack of communication, connection, and constant fighting with family.
  • Poor school attendance or accomplishment. Lack of involvement in school activities, sports, and clubs.
  • Low motivation or drive to achieve goals. Constant lack of accomplishment in life.
  • Refusal to introduce peers to parents.
  • Antisocial and negative behaviour. Robust connection to the wrong influences.


We all make mistakes, but we don’t have to let those errors in judgement define us. It’s never too late to clean up the mess you’ve made and make the proper adjustments in life – regardless of your age. If you’re under 18 years of age and are in need of legal assistance, contact us today to see how we can help you.

Blog posts from Batting, Wyman Barristers are for general information only. The content should not be considered legal advice. If you are in need of professional legal advice, please Book a free 30-minute consultation.