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Youth offending

After arrest

This information is to help young people and their parents or carers understand what may happen to them after they have been arrested and questioned at the Police station.

Released without charge

The Police may decide that you are not responsible for the offence or that they have insufficient evidence and may release you without any further action being taken.

You may receive a reprimand

A reprimand is a formal verbal warning given by the police if you admit you are guilty of a minor first offence. To receive a reprimand, you must have admitted the offence and shown that you are sorry for the harm that may have been caused. The police will pass on the details to the local Youth Offending Service (YOS).

You may receive a final warning

  • If you have admitted to a more serious offence, or;
  • If you have already received a reprimand

If you receive a final warning you will be required to meet with the Police Officer at the Youth Offending Service and undertake a programme of work. A parent/carer must accompany you to these sessions.

You may be given Triage

Triage is designed to help divert young people away from the Criminal Justice System at the point of arrest; you can receive Triage if you have previously received a Police Reprimand or a Final Warning. During the triage process you will complete a letter of apology/explanation, you will also complete work focusing on impact to the victim. You may also get support such as anger management, confidence building and peer pressure.

Bailed to reappear at the Police Station

Where the Police need to make further enquiries before making a decision about what should happen to you, they will set a date for you to return to the Police station to continue the interview. If you do not attend on that date, the Police can issue a warrant for your arrest.

Charged and bailed to appear at Youth Court

If you are charged with an offence you will be bailed and given a date to appear at Youth Court. If you do not attend the Court on that day a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

Charged and detained to appear at the next available Youth Court

If you are charged with an offence and there is a risk that you will abscond or commit further offences, the Police may want to detain you to appear at Court the following day. If it is considered to be in your best interests, you could be placed in Local Authority accommodation or, if not, you could be held in the Police Station.

Legal Representation - Getting a Solicitor

You should have a Solicitor to represent you at the Police Station whilst you are being interviewed. It is your legal right to have a Solicitor present. If you don't have your own Solicitor, the Police will contact a Duty Solicitor for you. This service is available free of charge.

The Youth Offending Service (YOS)

The Youth Court may sentence you to one of a variety of Orders. You will then be under the supervision of the Youth Offending Service and will be required to:

  • Attend all appointments
  • Make positive changes to your lifestyle to help you stay out of trouble
  • Keep in touch with the Youth Offending Service
  • Let them know of any change of address

If you do not keep your appointments, you will be in breach of your Order and will have to go back to Court.