Youth Court

Lawtons Solicitors have specialist Youth Court solicitors who can provide expert legal advice to young people who are to appear before the Youth Court and they are able to represent young people when they appear for the first time in court charged with a criminal offence; when not guilty pleas have previously been entered and the young person is to stand trial; when appearing in court in relation to breaching court orders previously imposed; applying for bail and variations of bail conditions already imposed; appearing in court in relation to non payment of fines and for youths awaiting sentence.

Our solicitors are sensitive and appreciate that for those appearing before the youth court, this can be a very stressful time for the young person and their family.  Our specialist solicitors aim to offer support to the youth and their families throughout the youth court proceedings.

In certain situations, specialist reports can be obtained when a young person has health vulnerabilities such as mental health or learning difficulties.  These reports can be very useful and beneficial to the youth’s case.

Lawtons solicitors can represent youths charged with summary only offences such as common assault, to more serious offences like robbery and also road traffic offences.

Our solicitors can liaise with various agencies in relation to the young person.

The youth court is part of the magistrates’ court and deals with criminal cases involving young people between the age of 10 and 18. The youth court is less formal than the Magistrates’ Court.

The main aim of the youth justice system is to prevent reoffending.

There is the presumption that all young people are dealt with in the youth court. However, there are a number of situations when a youth will appear in the Crown Court. In these situations, the youth will first appear before the youth court.

District Judges and Magistrates sitting in the youth court have specialised training. There is no jury in a youth court trial. A parent or guardian must accompany a youth to court if they are under 16 and if the youth is 16 – 17 and given a court order. Members of the public are not allowed into the court unless they get permission.  Young people are called by their first name in court. The Youth Court allows participation by the young person and their family.

When a youth pleads guilty or is found guilty before the youth court, there are a number of sentences available in the youth court. Depending on the nature of the case, the young person’s circumstances and whether they pleaded guilty, youths aged under 18 on the date of conviction can be sentenced to the following: an absolute discharge; conditional discharge; fine; compensation order; referral order; reparation order; youth rehabilitation order or a detention and training order. If the youth was under 18 at the time of conviction, the court cannot suspend a custodial sentence. There are a number of sentences available to the youth court when the youth has turned 18 prior to the date of conviction, these include: absolute discharge; conditional discharge; fine; community order; detention in a young offender institution and a suspended sentence order.


Nb. This guide is intended to give general information only and not intended to be used as the basis upon which Advice is given nor should it be relied upon as giving advice specific to a case or individual and Lawtons do not accept liability for anyone using this guide. Should you require specific advice in connection with a real case or situation, please contact us immediately so that we can provide specific Advice