Court services

What happens in court?

This page explains what a court appearance involves, for you and for your family. It only applies to youth courts, which deal with most juvenile offending. If you are going to be appearing at a crown court, this is much more serious and you should consult a solicitor immediately.

What is a youth court?

A youth court is a type of magistrates court. They only deal with offences committed by children and young people, and they sit privately under special rules. The public are not admitted to youth hearings, and the press can only report general details and nothing which could identify you.

Where do youth courts sit?

Youth courts are convened in the local magistrates’ courthouse. The address will be on the papers you have been given. Report to the usher on arrival, and they will tell you what to do.

What should I do?

  • Arrive punctually
  • dress smartly
  • arrange for a solicitor to represent you
  • think about what you want to say
  • talk politely and calmly.

What shouldn’t I do?

  • Act as if you don’t care
  • get angry or upset
  • interrupt or argue in court
  • come without a parent or carer

How do I get a solicitor?

You are entitled to legal advice. We strongly recommend that you arrange this, even if you are pleading guilty. Many solicitors can give free or reduced-rate help under Legal Aid. Look for details in the Yellow Pages, or online or ask to speak to the duty solicitor at court.

Advice for parents and carers

You must attend court with your child, and you usually have to pay their fines or compensation. Sometimes it will seem as if everyone is blaming you, but the court is genuinely sympathetic to any parent who is doing their best.

More information about court, bail remand, court reports and community orders is available on the Youth Justice Board website.

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Contact details

Bradford & District Youth Offending Team
Bank House
41 Bank Street

Phone : 01274 436060
Email :

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