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Are you under 18 and due to attend the police station or appear in Court charged with a criminal Offence? Or are you the parent/guardian/carer for someone under 18 who is facing criminal charges?

At Paul Robinson Solicitors we recognise that the criminal justice system can seem very daunting for young offenders. Our experienced team of Solicitors are on hand every step of the way to guide you through the process:

At the Police Station

Anyone who finds themselves under arrest, or attending the police station for an interview on a voluntary basis, has the right to FREE, independent, legal advice on Criminal Defence Law at the Police Station. We are available to attend the police station with you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – all you have to do is ask! A member of our team will attend the police station with you in order to advise you in relation to the offence under investigation, the police procedure and the best course of action for the interview. We will remain with you throughout the interview to make sure your legal rights are protected.

As a youth, you must have an Appropriate Adult present with you during a police interview. More often than not, this might be a family member. However, the police can also arrange for someone independent to attend if, for example, you did not wish for a family member to be involved.  If you already have a Youth Offending Service (YOS) worker, they can attend with you. An Appropriate Adult cannot answer questions on your behalf, but can assist with communication to make sure that understand the questions that you are being asked.

Anything that you do, or do not, say during a police interview will be used to determine whether the case will be taken any further and ultimately whether any charges may be brought against you. It is therefore vital that you get the correct advice from the very outset. At Paul Robinsons we have an incredibly experienced police station team on hand to help you.

Voluntary Interviews

If you are invited to attend for a voluntary interview, we can contact the Officer in advance to obtain disclosure (which sets out the nature of the allegation against you), so that we can discuss it with you prior to attending the police station. This then helps to speed up the process when you actually attend the station. Anyone who attends the police station for a voluntary interview is not under arrest and is free to leave at any time. You do not go into custody, and are not placed in a cell; rather the interview takes place in a designated interview room within the police station.  The interview is however still conducted under caution, as otherwise the interview is not considered legally valid.  After the interview has taken place, you can leave. The police will then notify you in due course as to whether any further action may be taken against you. We can liaise with the police on your behalf to find out if this is likely.  If the police decide to prosecute you for an offence, you will be sent a postal requisition, requiring you to attend court on a specified date and time.

Interviews whilst under arrest

If you are arrested, you will be booked into custody upon arrival at the police station. As part of the procedure, custody staff will advise you of your rights and entitlements whilst you are in custody, including your right to legal advice. You will then be asked if you would like a solicitor. Simply ask for Paul Robinsons and we will be notified that you are in custody. Once we are requested to represent a client in custody who has been arrested, we will chase the officer in your case and ensure that they are conducting their investigation quickly so that you are not detained for longer than is necessary. Once the police are ready to interview you, and will attend the police station once they are. We can then discuss matters with you, in private, prior to the interview taking place. We will advise you of your legal rights, and whether or not you should answer questions during the course of the interview. Whilst you have the right to remain silent, that might not always the best option. We can help you to work that out.

What happens after the interview?

After the interview, you will remain in custody whilst the police determine whether they are in a position to make a decision about how/if your case should proceed.  It may be, if there is no evidence against you, that no further action (NFA) is taken. Alternatively, if the evidence against you is strong, you may be charged with an offence. Sometimes this is a decision the police can make themselves, which is known as a “local” decision. If not, the case is referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for them to review the evidence and make a decision.

Bail to return

If a decision cannot be reached, and further enquiries need to be made, you will be released from custody whilst the police continue their investigation. You may be released on bail, with or without conditions, and given a date and time to return to the police station. If this is the case, we will contact the officer in charge of your case prior to the date you are due to answer bail so that we can attempt to find out what is likely to happen in advance. It may be that they wish to re-interview you, at which point we will attend the police station with you.

Released under investigation

Alternatively, you could be released under investigation (RUI). This means there you are not subject to any bail conditions, and there is no bail date to return to the police station. The police will simply notify you should they wish to speak with you further, or if any charges are to be forthcoming. We always attempt to make contact with the officer every 28 days to ask for an update so we can keep you informed.

Out of Court Disposals

If you have never been in trouble with the police before, and you make admissions to the offence, you may be eligible for an out of court disposal. Police do not seek to criminalise first time offenders unnecessarily, especially not youths, and will look to deal with matters without the need for it to proceed to court. This could mean by way of a referral to the Youth Offending Service, or perhaps by way of a Community Resolution or a Youth Caution. We can advise you as to whether these options may be available to you and, as such, whether it is in your interests to make admissions.


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Youth Court Proceedings

If, however your matter does proceed to Court, we can represent you there too. Again, it is likely to be FREE. Youths are, in the majority of cases, automatically eligible for Legal Aid to cover the costs of their legal representation at Court. Our team have decades of experience of dealing with Youth Court matters for all manner of offences, be it: theft, robbery, knife crime, assault, drug offences, criminal damage or sexual offences, it’s fair to say our team have dealt with it all.

Proceedings in the Youth Court are closed court proceedings and therefore not open to members of the public. You won’t therefore have to worry about members of the public hearing all the details of your case.

During the Court hearing, you will be asked to enter your plea, be that guilty or not guilty. You may not know what plea you should enter. We can help. We will discuss the case papers with you prior to the hearing to ensure you understand the offence you have been charged with. We will explain he evidence to you, and ask you to tell us your version of events. We will then advise you on the correct plea to enter. If you plead guilty, you may be sentenced there and then. We will advance mitigation on your behalf so that the Magistrates understand the circumstances around the commission of the offence, and any personal circumstances which may have contributed to the offending behaviour. In doing so, we seek to persuade the Magistrates to sentence you to the least possible sentence.

Alternatively, your case may be adjourned so that the Youth Offending Service can prepare a pre-sentence report. This report covers the offence itself, your personal circumstances, and identifies any risk factors which may mean you are likely to commit further offences in the future. It also makes a recommendation to the court as to the sentence to be imposes and about how the YOS could work with you to reduce your risk of re-offending. We will have the opportunity of going through this report with you, and explaining it to you, prior to any future sentencing hearing.

Understandably, you will want to know what the likely outcome is going to be. Our team can advise you in relation to the range of sentencing options available to the Court, such as a Referral Order or a Youth Rehabilitation Order, and what this means for you.


Crown Court Proceedings

If you are charged with a serious offence your case could be sent to the Crown Court.  This can seem daunting, scary even, but is something that we at Paul Robinsons deal with on a daily basis.  Whilst we will undertake the day to day preparation of your case, we will instruct an experienced barrister to represent you in Court to ensure that you have the best representation so that we can achieve the best possible outcome for you.


Contact our team

For any queries relating to Youths or Young Offenders, get in touch with our specialist Criminal Defence team today.

OUR CLIENTS SAY…

“I received the best treatment and the head of the department Michelle Breindel defended me. The prosecution wanted to send my case to Crown court with a possible custodial sentence, but Michelle put it to them that it was only an unintentional breach. I just received a fine and it was dealt with in the magistrates that day.”

Mr M

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Located in the heart of London and Essex

Paul Robinson Solicitors is a thriving independent law firm committed to providing exceptional service to clients nationwide, with offices situated throughout London and Essex.

Established in 1983, the firm has steadily expanded over the past 35 years, offering an extensive range of legal services to both personal and commercial clients. The team of highly experienced and skilled solicitors specialises in various fields and is dedicated to providing an outstanding level of service to achieve positive outcomes for their clients. The firm’s cutting-edge technology and efficient systems, together with its support and managerial staff, ensure maximum efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.

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