Being accused of a crime, no matter how minor, can be a daunting prospect for anyone, but particularly so for children and young people who find themselves in trouble with the law.
If you have a child, relative or friend under the age of 18 who is facing criminal charges of any description then Minton Morrill can help. Our specialist youth court solicitors are highly experienced in representing young people and guiding them through the legal process in a clear and sympathetic way.
In England and Wales, a person is deemed to be legally responsible for their actions at the age of 10 and can therefore be arrested, charged and tried for any offences they commit.
Those aged 10 to 17 are classed as juvenile offenders and are dealt with by the Youth Court, which is designed to be less intimidating than a normal court.
Individuals aged between 18 and 21 (up to their 21st birthday) are classed as young offenders and will generally be dealt with in the normal adult court. Those aged 21 and over are known as adult offenders.
If an offence is serious enough then a child or young person can be sentenced to a period in custody. Those under 15 (and over 10) will be held in a secure children’s home, while those over 15 will be held in either a young offenders’ institution or a secure training centre. A young offender will usually be moved to an adult prison when they turn 21 or may remain in a young offenders’ institution until they turn 22, if necessary.
At Minton Morrill, our specialist youth court solicitors are regularly instructed to act for children and young people who are being dealt with by the legal system. If a child wishes to plead not guilty then we will put forward the best possible defence and if they choose to plead guilty then we can often argue for a reduced sentence or, if a court order is to be made, negotiate the best possible terms. All youth court matters are dealt with sensitively and discreetly.
To find out how our specialist youth court solicitors in Leeds, Yorkshire and the North of England can help you, please contact us