What Happens in Court?
Turn your mobile phone off before you go into the courtroom as you cannot use it in court.
Wait outside the courtroom for the orderly to call your name. It is sometimes hard to know how long you will have to wait. When your name is called, enter the courtroom.
You will be shown where to stand in the courtroom and your parents will be shown where to sit.
The magistrate will read the charge to you. That is what the police say you did.
Listen carefully. The magistrate will then ask if you understand the charge.
Going to court is serious. You should tell the magistrate or your lawyer if you don't understand the charge or what is happening.
Next, the magistrate will ask if you if you want to get legal advice. If you do then the charge will be put off for a few weeks so you can see a lawyer and they can then represent you in court.
When you come back to court the magistrate will ask you if are 'guilty' or 'not guilty'. Or if you 'accept responsibility' for the charge. You must answer this question.
You should get legal advice about what these terms will mean for you.
If you say 'not guilty' it usually means no, I didn't do it.
If you say 'guilty' it usually means yes, I did do it.
If you say 'I accept responsibility' you may be able to go to a Juvenile Justice Team instead of court.
Last updated: 8 March 2023