Youth Crime Solicitors
If your child gets into trouble with the law and is accused of a crime, it’s important to know which steps to take next legally.
At Slater Heelis, our Youth Crime Solicitors can offer expert advice and guide you through the legal process, from police station questioning through to court sentencing.
If an individual is under the age of 18, they are classed as a youth in the eyes of the law.
Children, however, can be held criminally responsible from the age of 10. Most youths are tried in the Youth Court.
The Youth Court sits in the Magistrates court and there are often cases where specially trained District Judges or law Magistrate’s who deal with these cases.
At Slater Heelis, our team of Youth Crime Solicitors can offer you legal support and representation throughout the process.
What do I do if my child has been arrested?
Following the interview, the police may need to go and speak with witnesses and obtain any further evidence which can take weeks if not months.
- Step 1 – Get a solicitor
- Step 2 – Appoint an appropriate adult
- Step 3 – Speak to your child to ensure there are no safeguarding issues which have led to the child committing an offence (e.g have they been groomed/coerced/bullied?) If this is the case, social services are likely to become involved and will take the lead with this.
- Step 4 – arrange an informal setting for the interview to take place
Will a youth need legal representation?
Yes. Any individual who has been accused of committing a crime has the right to a legal representative. This is recommended to ensure safeguarding and that an individual has been given legal guidance and representation throughout the process.
Attending a police station or criminal court is a daunting prospect for most adults and it is important that a younger person feels comfortable and protected by those around them.
Youths are unlikely to be mature enough to appreciate the enormity of the position they find themselves in and will, therefore, need extra guidance and explanation.
As a parent or guardian, it’s natural to want the best possible representation for your child. You, therefore, may feel that using a duty solicitor, who will not get paid for any preparatory meetings with your child, isn’t good enough.
Police station interview for youths
When a youth is interviewed under caution an appropriate adult is required to be present, in order to safeguard their welfare. This is typically either a parent or guardian or an independent, specially trained person appointed by the police.
What are minor’s rights during police station questioning?
- The right to legal advice
- Comfort breaks, access to the toilet, medical assistance, food and drink
- The same rights as an adult
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The youth court has a range of sentencing options at its disposal and will deal with all, but the most serious of cases will get transferred to the crown court.
There will almost always be involvement from the Youth Offending Team and unlike the adult courts, the youth courts focus on the offender and there is a general agreement that the criminalisation of youths should be avoided wherever possible.
Restorative justice is a tool that can be used to sway the police away from prosecution. This system is victim led and may involve an apology or compensation payable.
It can be an attractive option as there may be no finding of guilt and will not result in a criminal record or a disclosure on a DBS check. In addition to this, youths may receive cautions during court sentences, however, this depends entirely on the severity of the case.
Choosing the right Youth Crime Solicitor
At Slater Heelis, we strongly believe that your child needs to be comfortable with the legal representative. We offer full police station representation and guidance before questioning, as well as thorough research into the case and court representation.
A member of our Youth Crime team will ensure that the police and other services are sensitive to the needs of the child and can ensure that their immaturity is not mistaken as criminality.
Dealing with children and young people is a specialist area of law. We are committed to understanding your child and finding a solution that protects their reputation and their future.
Meet the team
members on 0161 969 3131