Court Services > Court Support
This page explains what a Court
appearance involves, for you and for your family. It
only applies to Youth Courts, which deal with most
juvenile offending. If you are going to be appearing
at a Crown Court, this is much more serious and you
should consult a Solicitor immediately.
A Youth Court is a type of Magistrates Court. They only deal with offences committed by children and young people, and they sit privately, under special rules.
Where do Youth Courts sit?
Youth Courts are convened in the local Magistrates Courthouse. The address will be on the papers you have been given. Report to the Usher on arrival, and they will tell you what to do.
What are the courtrooms like?
Youth Courts try to use smaller rooms, but otherwise they look like the Courts you see on television. The Magistrates sit at a raised table, and all the people involved in the case sit in front of them. If you would like to see the Courtroom before your case, this can be arranged by contacting the Court Office.
Who will be there?
Magistrates - Unpaid members of the local community. Youth Magistrates are specially trained.
Legal Advisor - Manages the Hearing and advises the Magistrates.
Prosecutor – Explains the Police version of what happened.
Your Solicitor – Explains your version of what happened.
YJS Court Officer - Is there to support and advise, and you can ask for their help at any time.
Public – Not admitted to Youth Hearings.
Press – They can report general details, but nothing which could identify you.
What should I do?
Arrive punctually, dress smartly, arrange a Solicitor, think about what you want to say, say it politely and calmly
What shouldn’t I do?
Act as if you don’t care, get angry or upset, interrupt or argue in Court, come without a parent / carer
How do I get a Solicitor?
You are entitled to legal advice. We strongly recommend that you arrange this, even if you are pleading guilty. Many Solicitors can give free or reduced-rate help under Legal Aid. Look for details in the Yellow Pages, or ask to speak to the Duty Solicitor at Court.
Advice for Parents & Carers
You must attend with your child, and you usually have to pay their Fines or Compensation. Sometimes it will seem as if everyone is blaming you, but the Court is genuinely sympathetic to any parent who is doing their best.