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Youth crime and consequences

10.11.2012

A child getting into trouble with the law is every parent’s worst nightmare.

The fact of the matter is that your child is much more likely to be a victim of crime than a perpetrator.  However, if you suspect your child is at risk of offending or has already done so, you need to be aware of what to expect and where to get advice.

There are places you can get assistance and you don’t need to involve the police or social services.  Try searching online or visit one of the local Citizen Advice Bureaus – there are lots of local services and sources of support in the Maidstone area.

If you suspect your child is falling in with the wrong crowd ask for action.  You can raise problems and ask for solutions from your local police safer neighbourhood team and other community groups.

For some, sadly it can be too late and events can seem to spiral out of control.

If it is the first time your child has got into trouble, behaved anti-socially or committed a minor offence, they can be dealt with outside the court system.  From the age of ten children can be given a ‘pre-court order’, which means they’ll be formally reprimanded or warned by a police officer.

If the police charge your child they will then have to appear at a youth court.  For more serious offences the youth court will refer the case to the Crown Court. If your child is jointly charged with an adult they will be dealt with in an adult court.

Having a criminal record for even a minor offence often makes an enormous difference to people looking for a job or staying in employment.  In some cases it can even limit travel abroad.

Gullands recommends that parents dealing with a situation where their child has come into contact with the police get help from a solicitor at point of arrest or attendance at the police station, and not just when your child has been charged.  Solicitors from Gullands are on call 24 hours a day, and the number to call outside usual office hours is provided on the firm’s answer machine message.

If the police press charges and your child has to go to court, it’s crucial that you obtain advice from a solicitor who is expert in the youth justice system.  Gullands can prepare your child’s case expertly and provide a high quality of advocacy or, where appropriate, arrange for representation by an experienced and skilled barrister.

As the number of solicitors offering expertise in this area of the law diminishes, Gullands Solicitors is proud of its ability to provide experienced and skilled representation in all criminal proceedings.

For advice contact John Roberts at Gullands Solicitors by email: [email protected] or phone 01622 678341.

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