In trouble with the law?
If you are arrested and taken to a police station because you have committed or are suspected of committing an offence, or you are attending the police station of your own free will, you have three basic rights:
- The right to consult with a solicitor, free of charge
- The right to have someone informed of your arrest
- The right to consult the Codes Of Practice (a book about police powers
In addition to this if you are under the age of 18 the police will need to arrange for an appropriate adult to be with you whilst you are given these rights and interviewed. This person is different to a solicitor. An appropriate adult can be a family member, friend or occasionally a volunteer or social/health care professional or a someone provided by the Youth Offending Service.
If you are under the age of 17 years you should be held in a detention room and NOT in a cell. Under no circumstances should you share a cell with an adult.
The most important thing to remember is offending whilst you are a young person can affect you for the rest of your life. It may mean you are unable to apply for certain jobs as it is no longer the case that criminal records are cleared when you reach 18. Information about this can be found in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act or by speaking to your local Youth Offending Service or Youth Support worker.
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