Going to court
Youth Courts deal with young people between the ages of 10 and 17 if they have broken the law. There are two ways in which you may be brought before the Youth Court:
- Summons: Usually you will get a written summons from the court. This will be posted to you or handed to you personally. The summons tells you what offences you have been charged with and gives the day and time that you have to be at court and the address of the court building.
- Arrest: The Police may take you into custody. They will usually then release you on bail, sometimes with conditions, until the court hearing. Details of the court hearing will be on your bail notice. Details of the offences with which you have been charged will be shown on your charge sheet. They may also, remand you in to custody until the next Youth Court sitting if there are concerns surrounding your case.
It is advisable to get to Court half an hour before the time you have been given which will either be 9.30am for morning sittings or 1.30pm for afternoon sittings. When you arrive, inform an usher that you are there (usually they wear a black gown).
They will ask you if you have a solicitor and if not would you like to see the Duty Solicitor. If you do not have your own representation it is advisable to see the Duty Solicitor. Don't be shy about contacting a solicitor - it is their job to deal with such matters. Make sure that you show the solicitor any charge / summons papers.
A parent/carer must come to Court with you - if you are 17 years of age this is not compulsory but still advisable. If no one attends with you, the case may be put off (adjourned) to another day. A YOS Worker will also be in attendance. Sandwell's local court is Sandwell Magistrates Court, based in Oldbury.