Case management and court orders

Final warnings

The final warning is for young people who have committed an offence.

Final warnings are only available to first or second time offenders. They are not suitable for very serious offenders.

The final warning is given at the police station by a Police Officer.

If the young person offends again within 2 years, the young person will be charged to Court.

The final warning results in a referral to the Youth Offending Service, who may become involved in order to prevent offending.

What happens next

A member of staff from the Youth Offending Service will arrange an appointment to meet the young person and his / her parent(s) or guardian, usually before the Police issue the final warning.

The first meeting is called the assessment meeting.

The purpose of this assessment will be to try and understand why the young person has got into trouble, and what can be done to stop further offending.

What the young person will have to do

Every young person who gets a final warning is expected to co-operate with the Youth Offending Service in relation to the Assessment Meeting.

Depending on the result of the assessment, the young person may be required to begin a programme of work for a period of up to 3 months.

This programme could involve any of the following activities:

  • Making an apology to the victim, either personally or in writing
  • An activity which benefits the community, e.g removing graffiti
  • Attending sessions abut victim awareness and consequences of crime
  • Work related to the offence e.g anger management, alcohol or drug awareness etc
  • Constructive activities

If the young person fails to co-operate

If the young person fails to complete the assessment or any programmes of work, the Youth Offending Service will tell the Police.

This non-compliance will be placed on the young persons record for future reference.

If there is a further offence and subsequent court appearance, the court will be told of the non-compliance.

The court will take this into consideration when they sentence.

The court may ask the Youth Offending Service for the background of the non-compliance to help them decide the appropriate level of sentence.

If you have to go to court

If you have to appear in court, the first thing you should do is get a solicitor. 

If you cannot afford to pay for a solicitor you should be eligible for legal aid, which covers a solicitor's fees.

If you still don't have a solicitor by the time you get to court, you should ask at court for the duty solicitor.

Who will be in the court room

  • The usher
  • The clerk
  • The prosecutor
  • Your defence
  • The youth offending service
  • The magistrates

If you plead guilty to an offence 

If a young person pleads guilty, the court has various options open to it:

  • absolute discharge
  • hosiptal order
  • referral order
  • custody

If you are found guilty of an offence

If you are found of an offence, an order will be made by the court to determine the appropriate punishment. 

If you plead not guilty to an offence 

The defence and the prosecution will probably ask for the case to be adjourned for a pre trial review, where the clerk of the court will set a date for the trial. 

At the trial itself, once all of the prosecution case has been laid, the defence will start its case by calling its list of witnesses.

This is then repeated, with the defence going first.

When this process has been completed, the magistrates will leave the court to discuss all of the evidence that they have heard and to decide whether or not the young person is guilty.

Pre-sentence report

The Youth Justice Service is asked by the Court to prepare a pre-sentence report (PSR).

This is a written report to help the Court consider the choices open to it when you are sentenced.

On leaving the court, you will be given a time and date for an appointment to see a member of the Youth Justice Service.

You must keep this appointment.

If you are 16 years old or younger, your parent or guardian must attend the appointment with you.

What parents and guardians need to do

Parents and guardians should take their responsibilities to stop the young person from committing further offences seriously.

They should:

  • help the young person through the final warning process by making sure they attend appointments as required.
  • talk to the young person about the work they have been required to do
  • work with the South Tyneside Youth Offending Service