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Your rights when dealing with the police and courts

Your rights when dealing with the police and courtsDiscover what your rights are when dealing with the police or the legal system.

Being stopped by police

If you are aged 10-17 and the police stop you in the street to ask you what you are doing or for personal information, they must:

  • Tell you why you have been stopped.
  • Tell you their name and badge number.
  • Give you a copy of the form they used to record information about you.
  • The police cannot search you without your permission. They can only use force to search you as a very last resort.

If you are arrested

  • You have the right to have a family member or some other adult told about where you are.
  • You might not be able to speak in private on the telephone.
  • If you are 16 or under, the police must ask an appropriate adult to come and see you and to sit with you in an interview.
  • You have the right to speak to a lawyer in private. Your lawyer should explain things in a way you understand, give you advice and follow your instructions. They must always get your permission before sharing information about you.
  • You have the right to remain silent when you are arrested, when the police interview you, and when you go to court.

Going to court

To ensure you receive a fair trial, you have a right to:

  • Take breaks when you need them.
  • Know and understand what you are being accused of.
  • Give information and ask and answer questions.
  • Have a lawyer who explains things well.
  • Give your views on any reports written about you for the youth offending team, if you are found guilty.

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