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Children's Court of Western Australia
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For young people

You will have to go to the Children's Court if you have be accused of committing an offence whilst under 18.

The President or magistrates at the court listen to evidence and decide if you are guilty or not guilty.

If you are found guilty, the President/magistrate will decide on your sentence.

More information about the President, magistrates and other people in the court can be found in the courtroom layout section.

Going to court

You should have a lawyer when you come to Court. If you do not have a lawyer you should arrive at court early and ask the Voluntary Court Welfare Service to arrange for you to see the duty lawyer.

Take your court papers and any other papers given to you by the police with you to court.

Make sure your mobile phone is switched off as you cannot use it while you are in court.

When you arrive, check with security staff to check your name is on the court list. The security counter is at the entrance of the Courthouse.

Your parents or guardian should come with you as their participation is important. They will sit at the back of the courtroom and may speak to the court via your lawyer.

  • When your name is called, you will go into court. You will be shown where to go, and where to stand
  • The magistrate will read the charge to you (this is what the police have accused you of)
  • If you do not understand the charge, or do not believe that what is being said is correct, you should say so
  • The magistrate will ask whether you are guilty or not guilty of the charge. Your lawyer will speak to the court for you.

If you plead not guilty

If you plead not guilty you will have to come back to court on another day for your trial.

At the trial, the facts of the matter will be discussed and the court will make a decision on the case against you.

If you plead guilty or are found guilty

If you plead guilty or are found guilty, the President or magistrate will consider the appropriate punishment or penalty. A decision may not be made the same day.

If a report is requested by the court you will be assigned a Youth Justice Officer (YJO) to prepare the report. Your parent or guardian should attend the interview with you. The report will contain a brief history about you. The JJO will explain the punishment being considered by the Court.

The court may impose one of the following penalties:

  • referral to a youth justice team
  • no punishment and no conditions
  • no punishment but with conditions
  • fines, costs, restitution (putting back or repairing something) and compensation (paying for the damages)
  • responsible adult bond
  • good behaviour bond
  • youth community-based order
  • intensive youth supervision order
  • adult community-based order or adult intensive supervision order
  • custodial sentence (imprisonment or detention)

The Department of Corrective Services website has more information on types of sentences.

Visit the information for parents/guardians section for more information about what happens when you appear in court.

Last updated: 28-Oct-2013

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