Youths

The criminal justice system for children is very different to that of the adult system. Not everyone knows this. This is why you need a specialist youth solicitor.  

At Sonn Macmillan Walker, we are committed to ensuring that every young person knows their legal rights and -endeavor to   support who have come into contact with the Criminal Justice System. How children are dealt with during criminal proceedings is different to what happens to adults, contact a specialist solicitor to receive the support you need as a young person.   

The service we provide for children and young people puts the child first. We focus on advocating for their needs, rights and interests. We want every young person to feel heard. We always ensure that the language we use is child friendly and is easy to understand. We ensure that all our clients feel respected and listened to. Although we provide legal advice, it is always our clients’ decision that matters most.  

Representing Children & Young People at the Police Station  

We understand that if your child has been arrested, it can be a frightening experience for both them and their family.  

Anyone who has been arrested or invited for a voluntary interview is entitled to free and independent representation at the police station. It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you call us, we can contact the police station, ascertain the position, engage with the police, and attend the police station to represent and support your child during the interview process.  

Any child under 18 should have an Appropriate Adult (AA) present during their police interview. An AA ensures that the young person fully understands what is going on and what is being communicated to them. They also help the young person express their needs. They are not there to give legal advice. AAs can be a parent, guardian, family member, or a professional AA from the AA scheme. The young person can nominate their own AA, or the police will arrange for one to be present. We are experienced in working with AAs to ensure that our clients’ needs are best represented.   

Out of Court Disposals   

We are committed to ensuring that wherever possible, children and young people are diverted away from the courtroom. The principle aim of the Youth Justice System is to prevent re-offending, and to ensure that mistakes made by children and young people do not determine the direction of their future.  

Out of Court Disposals (OOCD) are ways in which cases can come to an end without going through normal Court proceedings. This can include - a Community Resolution or Triage, a  Youth Caution or a Youth Conditional Caution. These are ideal outcomes for a young person or a child as it keeps their contact with the criminal justice system to a  a minimum. Wherever possible, we aim to achieve such outcomes for our clients’ cases.   

Representing Children & Young People at Court  

Sonn Macmillan Walker has our own youth specialist, Leah Connolly, who frequently represents in the youth courts. She regularly represents her clients at Court. For Crown Court trials, we only instruct trusted barristers who specialise in representing young people.  

Representing Vulnerable and Exploited Children & Young People  

Our clients can be vulnerable, not only because of their age, but because of other factors. Sonn Macmillan Walker regularly represents children within the care system and are aware of how their circumstances may impact them and their actions. We are adept at working with children who have learning difficulties or mental health conditions. We have an extensive network of professionals who we work with, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and intermediaries, in order to make sure that our young people can engage and effectively participate in the court process.  

Some children’s vulnerabilities or young age can leave them open to exploitation by others and therefore do things they otherwise would not have. We are familiar with identifying the link between criminal activity and child exploitation. We have expertise in running s.45(4) modern slavery defences.   

Please contact Leah Connolly if you have any questions about representation for children or young people.  

Notable Cases

Our recent cases in this area.

Notable Cases

Need to speak to someone?

Call us on 020 7481 9157 or email us at enquiries@smw-law.co.uk. Otherwise, request a call back with the below form and a member of our team will contact you.

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