Youth Court – Criminal Defence Solicitors

If you or your child has been charged with an offence, they may be required to attend the Youth Court.   As a child, they will be particularly vulnerable and the lawyers at Qamar Solicitors are highly experienced in helping and representing children who have been charged with a crime.

If you or your child is asked to attend the Youth Court, you will need sensitive but expert legal advice and representation from lawyers.  We can act on your behalf whatever the offence, and help guide you through the full process – explaining in simple terms exactly what is happening.

Criminal responsible

Children and young people between the ages of 10 and 17 who are suspected of having committed a criminal offence are tried in special ‘youth courts’.   Children under the age 10 in England and Wales are not considered to have reached the age of ‘criminal responsibility’. The Youth Court is designed to handle young people in the most appropriate way while ensuring justice is carried out.

What is the Youth Court?

A youth court is part of the Magistrates’ Court, specialising in dealing with young people. There will be a district judge assisted by two lay magistrates and there is no jury.  If you are attending a youth court and you are 15 or under, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you are 16 or 17, the court may give an order that you should have a parent or guardian with you.

Youth courts are a relatively formal and you will be called by your first name.  No members of the public will be allowed in the proceedings. Parents or guardians may sit near you as this may help them to become involved. Other people who may be there include prosecution and defence representatives; a probation officer, a police officer, Youth Justice Agency representative, court staff and security officers.

What will happen?

Offences which are not serious (theft, anti-social behaviour or drugs offences, for instance) will be dealt with in the Youth Court.  Serious cases such as rape and murder will be passed up to the Crown Court for a full trial.

The judge and magistrates will hear the evidence and make their decision.  If you are found guilty by the Youth Court, a sentence may be imposed. This may be a community sentence of unpaid work in the community, a fine, or periods of detention or training in secure centres specifically designed to work with young people.  Sometimes, in more serious cases you will be sent to the Crown Court for sentencing.

How can we help?

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, contact the criminal team at Qamar Solicitors as soon as possible.  Based in offices in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, we are highly experienced in advising and representing young people and will guide you throughout the investigation and Youth Court process helping you understand what is happening at every stage.