1. Figure out if your youth record should be sealed

Youth records must be sealed or erased after a specific amount of time. When a record is sealed, it’s closed forever. A sealed record can only be accessed by you or your lawyer. No one else can see the record unless they get a special order from a youth court judge that says it’s okay.

The time before your record is sealed or erased is called the access period. The length of the access period depends on the:

  • type of record
  • type of crime
  • outcome of your case

Your youth records will not be sealed or erased just because you turn 18.

Your police or criminal background check shouldn’t show a youth record if your access period is closed.

Access periods

Case outcome

Access period


2 months from the date the is withdrawn

Not guilty – no appeal

2 months after the deadline for appeal has passed

Not guilty – appeal

3 months after the appeal is completed


2 months from the day you were found guilty

Peace bond

6 months from the end of the


1 year from the day your charges were stayed

Absolute discharge

1 year from the day you were found guilty

Extrajudicial sanctions (EJS)

2 years from when you agreed to EJS

Conditional discharge

3 years from the day you were found guilty

Guilty –

3 years from the end of your

Guilty –

5 years from the end of your sentence


The access period may get longer if you’re found guilty of another as a youth. If this happens, your access period could stay the same, or be extended by 3 or 5 years.

Photos, fingerprints, and DNA records

Records about your photos, fingerprints, or DNA may be open for longer than your other records. This depends on if you were charged with an indictable offence or a summary offence.

An indictable offence is a more serious offence. A summary offence is a less serious offence. If you don’t know whether you were charged with an indictable offence or a summary offence, ask your lawyer or the court that handled your case.

If you were charged with an indictable offence, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) can keep your fingerprints and photos for an extra 5 years after your access period. There is no extra time for summary offences.

If you are found guilty of a serious violent offence, in very rare cases the judge may decide to give you an adult sentence. This is rare, but if it happens, the RCMP can keep your fingerprints, photos, and DNA records forever. Examples of serious violent offences include murder, manslaughter, and aggravated sexual assault.

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