Legal Assistance for Young Offenders

Updated on Tuesday 21st April 2020

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Among other types of offences, a very concerning matter is the offence committed by young people under 18 who are involved or charged with different delicts, such as crime, robbery or juvenile delinquency. If any person is in this situation, he/she must know that he/she has the right to request legal assistance from our defence solicitors in London. They can properly analyze the case where a minor is involved and can represent him/her in front of the authorities.

Young offenders under the legislation

As it is known, the UK has three distinct justice systems, for England & Wales, for Scotland, and for Northern Ireland. All three systems are legally separated for all the offences prohibited by the legislation. In England, the Young Offending Team deals with the young offenders. Even if the incidents caused by young offenders decreased in the UK, there are still many young people who are brought in front of the British justice system. And most of the cases are for re-offending; more than 70% of youngsters are brought back in front of the justice in less than a year from release. Our criminal lawyer in UK can provide support and legal assistance for young people, our team being specialized in a wide range of cases of juvenile delinquency.

Young Offending Team & Youth Justice Board

To understand better the legislation, in this case, one should know that the Young Offending Team and the Youth Justice Board are under the supervision of the local authorities. In a large sense, the institutions were created in order to reduce the offences in which young people are involved. The Young Offending Team duties are the following: 

•    prevent and reduce offences and re-offences;
•    establish the penalties as community services and action plans;
•    provide counseling and rehabilitation plans for young offenders;
•    supervise young people who committed offences and were sentenced by the court to serve the community.

Also, you should know that when a young person is arrested, the legislation encourages the authorities to arrange that an appropriate adult accompanies the minor. Our team of criminal defence solicitors can provide all the legal assistance if you deal with a case of young offenders

What do you need to know about criminal courts for young offenders?

Numerous teenagers deal with criminal offences in UK like drug possession, theft, cyber crimes, robbery, or anti-social behavior and are punished in accordance with the law. The sentences are settled by the Youth Court in UK which is a different kind of law court where there is no jury. Besides the presence of an attorney, a parent or a tutor is mandatory at the hearing of the teenager who committed criminal offences and is under police custody. But if a young offender has been charged with serious crimes like violence, rape, and even murder, the case will be presented to the Crown Court in the UK. No matter the case, we remind that our solicitors in London can offer legal support and assistance throughout the entire process for the best possible result where there are chances for a teenager to be sent in training centers or if under 15, at home.

What is custody for youngsters who committed crimes?

To get back into the society, a young offender can be sent by the Youth Court in UK to private institutions where qualified personnel is in charge with transforming their inappropriate behavior with the help of special programs. These important training centers are administered by the Prison Service in the UK and each young boy or girl who takes part in the reintegration process is supervised by an officer dedicated to such important cases. The parents need to know comprehensive information about the status of their teenagers if sent in custody to private institutions, therefore, they are advised to ask for help from a criminal lawyer UK.

The video below explains how our team of criminal solicitors in London can offer legal help for minors involved in serious crimes

Types of sentences for young offenders 

Youngsters found guilty of certain crimes are sent to the Crown Court in UK where the magistrates can impose a sentence of indeterminate detention for public protection, or extended sentences. We remind that the Youth Court in the UK cannot enforce sentences for an indeterminate length, which is why such cases are dealt at the crown court. In serious criminal cases in UK, suitable legal representation is necessary, especially if young offenders are involved, a matter where our defence solicitors in London can offer legal support.

Life sentences for minors, presented by our criminal defence solicitors in London

There are cases where minors are involved in serious crimes for which they can receive the same type of sentence as for adults, including life imprisonment. A sentence like this can be imposed for dangerous offenders, even for young criminals, if the court of law considers the teenager a public threat. A young offender convicted of a specified offence and considered dangerous by the court of law can be sent to custody in special institutions where the minimum sentence is 2 years, and if the gravity of the crime is sustained by the strong evidence, the young criminal can receive life imprisonment. No matter the seriousness of the case, our criminal lawyers in London are able to provide you with legal support and representation in the court of law. Our team can also help you prepare your case to be released on bail, under certain conditions.

Extended sentences for young criminals 

Young offenders under 18 who are convicted of a specified serious offence like sexual violence or murder can be considered dangerous offenders by the court of law and can receive an extended sentence in a center for young offenders in UK, where the appropriate custodial term is at least 4 years. It is good to know that there is a possibility of being released on probation, if specific conditions are met. Our defence solicitors in London deal with numerous cases where young criminals are involved, therefore, a suitable approach on every case in front of the magistrates is mandatory.

What happens with children over 10 years of age who break the law?

According to the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 children with ages between 10 and 17 who have committed crimes in the UK can be arrested and can face different punishments if they are found guilty. Their cases are dealt by youth courts in UK and the magistrates can impose local child curfew or child safety orders.

What happens if a child over 10 years of age is found guilty of crimes?

Children with ages between 10 and 17 are subject to a special regime compared to adults, meaning that the court can issue special orders and can send them to centers for young persons. We remind that children with law problems need to be accompanied by a parent or a tutor in the court of law. A defence lawyer in UK is at your disposal if you have a child who has been arrested by the police for committing crimes.

Parents and their responsibilities

Parents will always be responsible for their minor children who committed crimes and who were sent to police custody. If the children continue to break the law, the parents will be asked about their responsibilities and a series of measures will be considered, like:
  • imposing the parents or tutors to sign a parenting contract in which they agree upon their support for keeping children away from offences;
  • suggesting parents to attend to varied parenting programmes managed by the community;
  • issuing a parenting order which can last for one year;
  • imposing certain restrictions if the youngster is considered a risk to the community.

If you want more information or you are in need of legal assistance in a young offender case, please contact our team of criminal defence solicitors in London.