Pre-trial Detention and Conditions: The Role of Parents

Your teen is suspected of committing a criminal offense. Read this article if:

  • He is detained pending trial, release investigation or trial; or if
  • He was released by a judge before his trial, but he must meet certain conditions.

You will better understand this process and learn what role you can play with your child.


Appearance and Release Investigation

It is possible that, following arrest by the police, your child may be detained in a youth center until his appearance or until the release investigation.

If your child is detained, you will be quickly informed of the place of detention. In case you are not available at this time, the police will be able to get in touch with another known adult of your child.

During the appearance or the release investigation, the judge will assess whether:

  • the young person may be released under certain conditions, or
  • he must remain in detention until his trial.


Released with conditions to respect

The judge may decide to let your child go home before his trial, but order him to respect certain conditions.

Conditions are guidelines to follow. They vary according to the situation of the teenager. For example, the judge could prevent him from contacting a person.

The young person must respect the conditions until the end of the process : the end of the trial or the dismissal of the file by the court.

If the young person does not respect the conditions, he may be charged with new offenses (often referred to as a “break” condition).


Detained pending trial

 Detained pending trial

The judge may decide that your child should remain detained pending trial.

A judge makes this decision for several reasons, in general. He can do it, for example, because

  • the offense is serious, or
  • the young person is charged with several offenses; or
  • he has already been convicted in the past.

He must be convinced, inter alia, that detention is necessary:

  • to protect or ensure the safety of the public; or
  • because it is possible that the teenager does not appear in court.


Where will the teenager be detained?

 Where will the teenager be detained?

The detention of a minor may take place in a youth center.

But the teenager can also be entrusted to the care of a person of trust. In many cases, he will have to reside in this person at all times , except to go to school or work.

This person may be a parent or a member of the immediate family, for example. She must make a written commitment:

  • to take care of the teenager; and
  • to make sure that he respects his conditions and that he goes to court.

If you agree to play that role, you make that commitment to the court. You could be charged with a criminal offense if you or your child does not comply with this commitment.

If you do not wish to be bound by this commitment, you will have to apply to the court.

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