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Children under 10 are too young to be guilty of a criminal offence. As such, they do not have to appear in court - even if they committed an act which, for someone older, would be a criminal offence. If a child between 10 and 17 is charged with an offence the case will usually be in the youth court, except in certain circumstances. Youth justice is focused on prevention rather than punishment; youth courts are encouraged to consider the youth’s welfare when making any decisions.
The youth court is part of the magistrates’ court system and is normally located at the local magistrates’ court. The youth court is often in a separate part of the building to keep children and young people away from adults appearing in the magistrates’ court. Youth courts are normally less formal and they are also private - there are strict rules as to who can attend.
There are certain instances when a youth (under 18) may not be entitled to have their case held in youth court. Those instances include the following:
If you think you, or a friend or family member, may have a child who will be subject to the youth court justice system, remember AFG LAW can assist you. Please ring 01204 377600 to speak to one of our expert youth court solicitors who can advise you and attend court.
Leigh joined the practice in 1999 weeks before qualifying as a solicitor and over the last 10 years has specialised solely in criminal defence work. A considerable proportion of her time is spent with suspects in the police station throughout their detention, advising on issues of law, police powers and charge.read more