Criminal courts

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Youth courts

A youth court is a special type of magistrates’ court for people aged between 10 and 17.

A youth court has either:

  • 3 magistrates
  • a district judge

There is not a jury in a youth court.

Your parent or guardian must come with you:

  • if you’re under 16
  • if you’re 16 to 17 and they’re given a court order

How youth courts are different from adult courts

Youth courts are less formal than adult courts, for example:

  • members of the public are not allowed in to the court (unless they get permission)
  • you are called by your first name

Cases a youth court deals with

A youth court deals with cases like:

  • theft and burglary
  • anti-social behaviour
  • drugs offences

For serious crimes, like murder or rape, the case starts in the youth court but will be passed to a Crown Court.

Sentences a youth court can give

The court can give a range of sentences including:

Appealing your sentence

If you disagree with the court’s verdict, you may be able to appeal. Court staff can give you information on how to appeal.