When a young person is charged with an offence in Hillingdon, they will usually go to Uxbridge Youth Court. If they have committed a serious offence, they may need to appear at a Crown Court.
A solicitor will represent you in court, offer legal advice and see if you qualify for legal aid.
If you do not have a solicitor, ask for the duty solicitor when you arrive at court.
Who's who in a youth court?
Magistrates - trained members of the local community who, after hearing evidence from the young person, their solicitor, the Crown Prosecution solicitor and any witnesses, decide if the law has been broken. There are usually 3 magistrates in court.
Clerk - a legally-qualified person who helps the magistrates with points of law.
Defence solicitor - represents the young person accused of a crime.
Crown prosecution service solicitor - represents the Crown (police).
Usher - notes which young people are in court and the solicitors representing them. They also decide the order in which you are seen.
Youth Justice Service - before the Magistrate passes sentence, we write a Pre-Sentence Report (PSR). This report lets the court know about the person's behaviour, family background and helps the court to sentence the young person. Before the court sentences the young person, parents and solicitors are able to read the PSR.
Members of of the public are not allowed into the youth court - only parents and guardians.
Things to remember
Always look smart - do not wear trainers, ripped or revealing clothing.
Arrive 30 minutes before your court appearance and see the court usher.
When speaking to the Magistrate, call them 'Sir' or 'Madam'.
When speaking to a Judge, call them 'Your Honour'.
When the Magistrate or Judge enters or leaves the room, stand up.
If you are 16 or younger, at least one of your parents/guardians must attend court with you.*
If you are 17, we recommend you bring a parent along with you.
*If a parent or guardian does not attend court with you, the Magistrate or Judge may decide to move your case to another day when your parent/guardian is able to attend with you.
Getting ready for court
This video by Mencap gives tips on what to expect and what you should do if you need to go to court.