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Youth justice - court procedures
This page gives details about courts, going to court and related information.
There are two main ways of being brought to court after having committed an offence:
There are three levels of criminal Courts in England and Wales:
A young person will usually be seen by the Youth Court unless the day they are to go is not a Youth Court day (most areas only run Youth Courts on certain days of the week).
If the young person appears on a day when there is no Youth Court, they will be seen in adult court (Magistrates'). In this case, the Magistrates will decide whether to send the case to the Youth Court on another day, or to keep it in the Magistrates' Court.
If the young person is jointly charged with an adult, the magistrates will have to decide if the two defendants should be kept together or if the adult should be dealt with in Magistrates' Court, and the young person in Youth Court.
If the offence that the young person has been charged with is serious enough, or if the adult they are charged with chooses to be dealt with in Crown Court, the magistrates can send the case there. In the case of serious crimes this is called a 'Committal'.
Youth justice - court procedures - frequently asked questions