Youth Court Representation
Youth Court Representation
The Youth Court hears cases regarding those charged with criminal offences between the ages of 10 and 18. The Youth Court has no jury and the public are not allowed in. For very serious crimes (such as murder) or those where the youth is charged together with an adult, they may need to go to a Crown Court.
All cases will begin at the police station before they progress to a court appearance. A police station visit can be a very scary experience for a young person. The police ensure a responsible adult is present to make sure a child is treated fairly, and must not proceed to interview them until an Appropriate Adult is present. On many occasions a family member will be asked to act as the Appropriate Adult, but should this not be possible the police will use an Appropriate Adult service to ensure someone attends.
The most important thing is to have solicitors who not only understand the sensitivities involved, but are also experienced youth crime solicitors. Wrongful conviction can and has come about when those without a proper understanding of the law are led to admit something untrue and criminal because legal counsel was not provided.
Where will my child be taken if they are arrested?
If your child is below the age of 18, they will be considered a Youth. Once arrested your child is likely to be detained and taken to the nearest police station for interview. They will be given the opportunity by the police to call you to let you know where they are being detained.
How can I contact the custody centre that has my child?
You should call 101, the police non-emergency line. Explain the situation to the operator and they will direct you to the correct police station. Alternatively you can contact your solicitor and they will make the enquiries on your behalf.
Will I be able to see my child at the police station?
As your child is a Youth, they are entitled to have an Appropriate Adult present at the police station. As a parent you can act as an Appropriate Adult and therefore can be present at the police station when your child is having their rights read to him, being searched and being interviewed.
What does an interview under caution mean?
As part of their investigation the police will conduct an interview. At the beginning of the interview the police will read out the caution:
“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
If interviewed under caution, everything said in interview can be used at court/in the case against the individual. The caution outlines the interviewee’s right to not answer questions, whilst also explaining that there is a risk to not answering questions.
What does the term ‘Final Warning’ & ‘Reprimand’ mean?
A reprimand or final warning is now known as a youth caution; and can be issued to those eligible under 18 years old. A youth caution is effectively a formal verbal warning given by a police officer to a young person who has admitted that they have committed a minor offence. This will normally take place at a police station with the parent or legal guardian present.
A Final Warning is similar to a Youth Caution. The youth involved will be referred to the Youth Offending Team whereby their needs and personal circumstances will be assessed. If an offence is committed within the 2 years after the final warning they will be required to attend court.
My child had been released NFA (with No Further Action). What does that mean?
This means that the case has been dropped. There will be no further implications and no formal record on the record of the young person involved.
Youth Crime Lawyers London - Crime Defence Solicitors
Being prosecuted for a criminal offence in the youth court can be a daunting experience. The most important thing is to have solicitors who not only understand the sensitivities involved but are also experienced youth crime solicitors. If you would like some advice on this or any other criminal matter please call on +44 (0)203 601 5051.
Our specialist criminal lawyers in London are experienced in dealing with Youth Offending both at the police station and the Youth Court.
The chances of securing a positive outcome for your child are greatly improved if a qualified and experienced solicitor is engaged early on in the matter.
We are proud to be able to continue to provide criminal legal aid to our clients.
The number of legal aid solicitors has declined sharply over the last few years and we are proud to remain as one of the fast growing legal aid firms.
If your child is arrested or asked to attend a police station for a voluntary interview, give us a call on 020 3601 5051 , or fill in our contact form.