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Youth Crime

Duncan Lewis Criminal Defence Solicitors – Youth Crime


Youth crime is a specialist area and Duncan Lewis criminal defence solicitors can advise at any stage of a charge involving a minor – including crime in which young defendants may be implicated with adult offenders and charges involving joint enterprise.


Young offenders are aged between 10 and 17 and the criminal justice system requires youth crime to be prosecuted quickly – this in itself can cause added stress for defendants.


However, there is no jury in a youth court – where young offenders are tried – and a parent or guardian also attends court.


In cases involving serious crime, a case would be sent from the youth court to a Crown Court.


The Youth Justice Board has responsibility for young people in custody – those aged under 15 will usually be held in a Secure Children’s Home (SCH), while those over 15 will be held in either a Young Offender Institution (YOI) or Secure Training Centre (STC).


Duncan Lewis has acknowledged expertise in defending youth crime – including advising on Judicial Review to challenge the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) decision to prosecute.


Youth Crime – Full Code Test


Because of the complexities involved in prosecuting youth crime, it is vital to seek legal advice from Duncan Lewis crime lawyers as soon as possible to ensure that pre-charge procedures leading to a decision by the CPS to prosecute a youth crime are complied with.


Using the Full Code Test, the criminal justice system takes into account a wide range of factors when deciding to prosecute youth crime, including:

  • A defendant’s home life and background
  • Information from children’s services
  • Information from the police
  • Whether prosecution is in the public interest.

Duncan Lewis crime lawyers can also offer support to young defendants facing a court appearance, ensuring that they are well prepared and well informed about procedures and the details of the case, including entering a plea and plea bargaining.


In cases involving serious or violent crime, Duncan Lewis crime lawyers will advise on bail, remand and young offenders’ rights in custody.


Duncan Lewis Criminal Defence Solicitors – Youth Cautions


Youth cautions are not available for indictable offences (ie serious offences sent to Crown Court) without the authority of the CPS, but a youth caution may be used as a “proportionate and effective response to offending behaviour” if certain criteria are fulfilled:

  • the police are satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to charge a youth with an offence;
  • the youth admits the offence to the police;
  • the police do not consider that the youth should be prosecuted or given a youth conditional caution for the offence.

More than one youth caution may be issued to a young offender, regardless of previous convictions.


Youth cautions are issued according to a scale denoting the seriousness of an offence – known as the ACPO Gravity Matrix, which rates offences from between one and four.


Duncan Lewis crime lawyers can advise further on disposals such as youth cautions.


Duncan Lewis Criminal Defence Solicitors – Our reputation for excellence


The Duncan Lewis Crime Department is ranked in Legal 500 2014 for its General Crime and White Collar Fraud Work.


Duncan Lewis crime lawyers have acknowledged expertise in case building based on a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system – and the ability to assemble compelling evidence and documentation in criminal cases, including highly technical and complex road traffic cases, as well as serious crime.


Duncan Lewis represents clients at Police Stations, Youth Courts, Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, and at Appeal Courts such as the Court of Appeal – and has highly experienced Higher Court Advocates with a background in conducting serious matters such as murder and rape.


Duncan Lewis Criminal Defence Solicitors – How to contact us


We aim for the best possible outcome for clients facing criminal charges from the pre-investigation stage of a charge onwards – call Duncan Lewis any time on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice on criminal charges.


For 24/7 help at a police station in England and Wales, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.


Duncan Lewis Criminal Defence Solicitors – When to contact us


All Duncan Lewis crime lawyers are police station representatives and can advise on criminal charges even before a charge is brought, when errors or misjudgements may occur and prejudice the outcome of a case for a client.


Clients should get in touch as soon as possible if it is likely they may face criminal charges or a criminal investigation, including charges relating to violent crime (murder, ABH/GBH, gang crime, gun and knife crime) public order offences, motoring offences, theft, sexual offences and criminal charges relating to terrorism offences.


Once a hearing is scheduled at a Magistrates’ Court or youth court, Duncan Lewis will prepare a case thoroughly to make sure that the outcome is in the client’s best interests whenever possible, including advising defendants on Crown Court representation for indictable offences.


Duncan Lewis Criminal Defence Solicitors – Legal Aid & Private Client – Youth Court Representation


Duncan Lewis is a leading provider of Legal Aid criminal defence services – Legal Aid is means tested and may only be available in certain circumstances.


Duncan Lewis will advise further on Legal Aid at the initial client meeting.


In the event a client is not eligible for Legal Aid to fund a criminal case, Duncan Lewis crime lawyers offer competitively-priced fee levels for private client representation at a Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court, with fixed fees and advance notice of any costs whenever possible.


Call Duncan Lewis Criminal Defence Solicitors to discuss Youth Court Representation on 020 7923 4020.

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