Youth Crime and the Law

"The KN team are one of the best known, oldest and highly regarded teams in this area of work. They get first rate work and deliver excellent results."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Our experienced youth crime lawyers are committed to understanding your child and finding a solution that protects their reputation.  Applying the law to children and young people is a specialist area of law.  We have considerable experience and demonstrated success in ensuring that their age, lack of willingness to communicate and curiosity are not misinterpreted as illegality.
 
A call to say your son or daughter is in trouble with the law is something every parent fears.  We understand that young people make mistakes and that immaturity sometimes results in errors of judgement.  We believe that such misjudgements should not result in a permanent mark against a young person’s character. 

Our youth crime lawyers are formally trained and experienced in building rapport and trust with your child so that they feel confident in giving instructions and understanding the advice they receive.  We view you as an essential partner in the process and value your input in resolving your child’s case. 

Achieving the best outcome for our clients

Some young people think that offences committed while under 18 years old are wiped from their record when they become adults.  This is not true.  A record will always be kept which can be disclosed at the discretion of the police in the future.  UCAS and college applications routinely ask for information about convictions and cautions which can be determinative in securing and retaining your child’s place in education.  Our representation is targeted at avoiding arrest and conviction and thereby limiting the impact on your child’s future prospects.

Like you, we understand that there is a lot more to your child than the isolated issue that brings them into contact with the youth justice system.  By engaging one of our specialist youth crime lawyers, you give your son or daughter the best opportunity to safely navigate this complex area of law. 

We understand that young people do not think like adults and often cannot foresee the consequences of their actions.  Sometimes their reticence makes it difficult to give an  innocent explanation for what has happened.  We are able to support them in doing this to ensure the law does not mistakenly define their immaturity as youth crime.

We achieve the best outcome by forcing the police and others involved in the youth justice system to apply common sense to your child’s situation.  This includes finding the least onerous outcome which may be as simple as an apology.  We will always look for innovative alternatives to prosecution that avoid a criminal record.  In addition to addressing the immediate crisis, our lawyers aim to equip your child with information and skills that diminish the likelihood of future contact with the criminal justice system.

WHAT directories, CLIENTS AND THEIR PARENTS HAVE SAID about us

I just wanted to express my profound thanks for your input at the very start of this process. It was obvious that [my son] felt a tremendous sense of reassurance knowing that you were there to provide advice and support, and I think the trouble you took to provide sympathetic and constructive advice was invaluable. I wanted to express my thanks to you because I witnessed at first-hand what a difference your input made.  As a solicitor myself, I was able to reflect on the fundamental importance of client care, and on the fantastic job you did."

Parent of one of our clients

I think it would be hard to over-state the sense of reassurance that [my son] got from your advice and – most importantly – from the way in which you gave it. You were authoritative and sympathetic, and, crucially, you were available whenever he needed your input. All of your communications with him seemed to reflect a real effort on your part to see things from his perspective, and all of the advice was delivered in a language that he really understood. I’m not exaggerating when I say that your input really was one of the main things which helped him to get through the whole business."

Parent of one of our clients

In dealing with the firm, every aspect was outstanding and of the highest quality."

Chambers UK 2021

KN are exceptional in almost all categories! They are streaks ahead of everyone else and provide a very high level of service. If I were in trouble that’s where I would go.  I like the fact they are genuinely committed to providing excellence even on less lucrative cases or on cases of less seriousness. They completely get how serious every case is for a client . They unfailing do the very best for their clients."

Legal 500 UK 2021

A dynamic team that shows good attention to detail."

Chambers UK 2021

"Getting in touch with you was the best and single most important step in coping with this situation."

"You respected the age of your client in your calm but firm and honest dealing with [my child]."

"I would not wish my family’s recent experience on anyone but I would view anyone lucky enough to secure your services extremely fortunate."

Parent of one of our clients

“The minute I spoke to Sandra I knew we were in safe hands. So professional yet created a very relaxed environment for my son."

Parent of one of our clients

"Gosh I can finally smile again. Thank you so much.”

Client

"[My child and I] are both ever so grateful for having crossed paths with you…you were such a pleasure to work with, you so ably guided us through and were an amazing support to us."

Parent of one of our clients

"Thank you very much for all your work on this case – we as a family are very appreciative of your help and support. You helped us at a very difficult time and we are still grateful. [Our child] has certainly come out of it as well as can be expected and I think he is determined to become a Rock Star solicitor having met you all! He still thinks you are one of the coolest people he’s ever met!"

Parent of one of our clients

"I was absolutely thrilled [with the outcome] and it has felt like a big weight off my shoulders. These past 4 months have been absolutely horrendous, but ameliorated by being able to rely on all of you to chat and answer questions (however silly). Many thanks to all of you for your hard work. Just saying thank you, feels a trifle insufficient given the gravitas of the situation but I do really mean it."

Client

"I am of course very fortunate that my parents had pulled together the resources so I could have my own solicitor, had this not been possible my future would have been very different."

Client

[Our child] will head back to Uni next week and the difference in his mood and outlook is heart-warming. The future is looking bright again." 

Parent of one of our clients

"We cannot thank you enough for all the support, guidance and expertise not to mention the shocking yet amazing outcome."

Parent of one of our clients

"Your professional approach was incredibly reassuring to us as we were going through a very difficult time. We are so grateful for all the help and support you gave [our child] and ourselves at that time and would unequivocally recommend you to parents and teenagers going through similar situations. "

Parent of one of our clients

They stand out because of their ability to stop a case before it gets started. Their commitment, preparation and tenacity set them apart."

Chambers UK 2018

 

Further information about youth crime and justice

Please see our page on frequently asked questions about youth crime and our youth crime blogs for further information and regular updates. 

Should you have any questions, please contact our team of youth crime lawyers in confidence or call us on +44 (0)20 7814 1200. 

Highly collaborative and team based in everything they do. Friendly and down to earth while also being world class. Uniquely able to bring together the brightest and the best but without being pompous or superior in their attitude. Great listeners, hard workers and tactically the best in the business."

Legal 500 UK 2021

The lawyers on the crime team are relentlessly good at what they do. They have a collaborative approach and are incredibly thorough and detailed in their work."

Chambers UK 2021

The care, consideration and professionalism which [our child] was treated with by you, meant what could have been potentially a life changing experience was one where he felt informed, understood and less frightened. I will never be able to thank you enough."

Parent of one of our clients

Latest blogs & news

Being accused of sexual misconduct when you are a child

As a criminal defence solicitor specialising in defending allegations of sexual misconduct and representing children, the perfect storm that has erupted since the launch of Everyone’s Invited has made me privy to some of the saddest and most distraught children I have ever advised.

Regressive approaches to sentencing will not help children or society

The head of the Youth Justice Board has rightly criticised the Government’s plans to raise child custodial sentences. At a time when England and Wales falls behind most European countries in protecting children with the lowest age of criminal responsibility (10), it is inexplicable that the Government is taking a further regressive step by seeking to increase the length of time that children must spend in prison.

Youth Justice: Is reform on the way for young people who turn 18 while in the criminal justice system?

Children under 18 years old are afforded a number of special protections by virtue of the fact that they are children in the eyes of the law. These protections fall away when an individual turns 18 and they are legally considered an ‘adult’.  For defendants who cross the threshold into adulthood during the criminal process, the impact of reaching this milestone can be profound.

Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System

Today JUSTICE has published the latest working party report ‘Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System’. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to chair the working party that produced this report. The report makes practical recommendations to reduce BAME disproportionality in the Youth Justice System (YJS) of England and Wales.

Outcome 22: are the police utilising this important diversionary tool or leaving it on the shelf?

David Lammy’s landmark review of racial bias in the Criminal Justice System (‘CJS’), made many key recommendations to help improve trust and fairness in the CJS when it was published in 2017. One of which was to expand the use of the deferred prosecution for adults and young offenders.

Student misconduct allegations and the right to a fair hearing

The temptation to approach the adjudication of a student complaint as merely an ‘internal process’, is one of the most common errors made by some higher education institutions. The process adopted must be capable of examination by an independent and external eye to ensure that at each stage of the process, the rights of all individuals involved are protected.

How Universities should investigate a complaint under the disciplinary procedure

Once an allegation is made against a student (or member of academic staff), either by another student, a member of staff or someone outside the university, it is important that that the University takes stock of the issue and acts carefully to ensure fairness to all parties. 

The first crucial steps: how Universities should respond to allegations of misconduct

University providers owe a duty of care towards staff members and students; this duty takes on particular significance during a disciplinary process and it is essential that Universities provide appropriate and relevant information and support to all parties involved in allegations of misconduct.

Getting it right from the start: University policies for dealing with non-academic misconduct complaints

What happens when a complaint is made to a University about the conduct of a student or a member of academic staff?  What should the procedures for the resolution of these complaints look like and how can all parties be reassured that such allegations will be resolved fairly? 

I May Destroy You, Part 3: A study of sexual assault - Voyeurism, Revenge Porn, Youth Justice and False Allegations

This blog series examines some of the sexual offences encountered by the main characters in the explosive 12-part BBC series, ‘I May Destroy You’. This final instalment focuses on a character called Theo and the events that occurred when she was a youth, during her high school years.

Legal limbo for children: The risks of turning 18

The impact of Coronavirus is significant and far-reaching for all children and young adults. For a youth justice system creaking under strain with serious delays, the lockdown has only compounded the problems and brings a raft of serious consequences. Timely justice is ever more important.

Appealing and challenging university disciplinary decisions: what students need to know

Where a student has had an unfavourable outcome from a university disciplinary process, that need not be the end of the road. It may still be possible for them to appeal or otherwise challenge the higher education provider’s decision.

Reflections on Westminster Higher Education Conference, Priorities for tackling sexual violence and harassment in higher education

At last week’s Westminster Higher Education (HE) Conference, speakers from Student Unions, Universities, to regulators and law firms discussed how best to tackle sexual violence and harassment in high education, including how to change campus culture and improve complaints and disciplinary processes. This blog summarises those discussions and reflects on where the sector’s key focus areas should be now. 

Criminalising children – at what age and what cost?

As the Scottish Parliament raises the age of criminal responsibility to 12, the law in England & Wales becomes even more isolated from the rest of the Western World. The Equality and Human Rights Commission, in relying on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a convention to which the UK is a signatory, continues to criticise the UK in no uncertain terms regarding our failure to raise the age from 10 (the lowest in the region) to 14.

Sentences for young people should take account of their maturity

Ministry of Justice figures show that 18 to 25-year-olds account for a third of the total social and economic costs of crime as victims or offenders, despite making up only 10 per cent of the population.

On the cliff edge: Do we need formal sentencing guidelines for ‘young adults’?

Most of us remember our 18th birthday.  Finally you are old enough to do a whole list of activities which were previously prohibited – you can vote, buy alcohol, open your own bank account, gamble or even get that tattoo you always wanted. On top of this, you are now deemed an ‘adult’ in the eyes of the law.

Eastenders explores rape: Part 5 - what happens when a complainant wants to "drop the case"?

In this blog series, we have been following the progress of one of the latest EastEnders storylines, which centres on a young woman who claims to have been raped by two men after a night of heavy drinking.  

Eastenders explores rape: Part 4 – what happens when someone is accused of rape?

In this blog series, we have explored the concept of consent, the making of a complaint of rape from the perspective of the victim and what happens to those who may be interviewed as witnesses. In this piece we will look at what happens to someone who is accused of rape.

Changes to the Code for Crown Prosecutors

David Sleight discusses the revised ‘Code for Crown Prosecutors’ and suggests that a shift in policy to encourage prosecutors to carefully review cases and exculpatory evidence at an early stage is a good idea in principle. Sleight argues the revised code is, however, ‘yet another example of a well-intentioned policy change that has little or no consideration as to what is happening on the ground’.

EastEnders explores rape: Part 3 – witness interviews

In part 2, we followed how Ruby reported the allegation to the police. Now Ruby’s friends, Martin and Stacey, are being interviewed as witnesses and in this blog, we look at how this would really unfold.

Youth Crime and the Law Insights

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Blogs

Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System

Outcome 22: are the police utilising this important diversionary tool or leaving it on the shelf?

Student misconduct allegations and the right to a fair hearing

How Universities should investigate a complaint under the disciplinary procedure

The first crucial steps: how Universities should respond to allegations of misconduct

Getting it right from the start: University policies for dealing with non-academic misconduct complaints

I May Destroy You, Part 3: A study of sexual assault - Voyeurism, Revenge Porn, Youth Justice and False Allegations

Legal limbo for children: The risks of turning 18

Appealing and challenging university disciplinary decisions: what students need to know

Criminalising children – at what age and what cost?

Sentences for young people should take account of their maturity

On the cliff edge: Do we need formal sentencing guidelines for ‘young adults’?

Eastenders explores rape: Part 5 - what happens when a complainant wants to "drop the case"?

Eastenders explores rape: Part 4 – what happens when someone is accused of rape?

C5 notices – extrajudicial punishment or innovative policing?

Fresher’s Week – what consent is and why drunkenness is not a defence

PACE under review: no excuse for failing to maintain the dignity of those held in custody

Sexting: “Outcome 21” - a solution or part of the problem?

Youth Justice Part Two: Mini sex offenders or just kids?

Tongue splitting, ear removal and branding - the limits of consent as a defence to extreme body modification

Youth Justice Part One: Criminalising kids - a guide to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act for young people

Policing the internet – "fake news" and social media offence update

My Legal Advice To My Fresher Son

Youth Justice: time to change the age of criminal responsibility?

Everyone is talking about ‘fake news’, but what is it?

Fake News: Real Legal Issues or simply a great title for a competition?

UK prisons: is there any hope?

When can the High Court quash a police force’s crime-recording decision?

Is a conditional caution the way forward for dealing with and rehabilitating those accused of viewing indecent images of children?

Drones: an update from 2016

Sexual Risk Orders – a breach of civil liberties or necessary public protection?

The Times/Kingsley Napley Student Advocacy Competition

Coping with online disclosure

£1.9 bn investment in Cyber security: Government ramps up fight against cybercrime

Lack of data means doubts remain over efficacy of Stop and Search

Education, Education, Education: Plans to transform youth custody in England and Wales set out

Joint enterprise: Supreme Court decision a welcome and just clarification

Tackling knife crime – A new police initiative and tougher sentencing announced

PACE update: Changes to Code E

Youth Justice in the parliamentary spotlight

Criminal court procedure - 2015 in review

Cyber-crime: 2015 – a year in review

Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship – preparing for the new offence

R v Jogee: Joint Enterprise doctrine considered by the Supreme Court and Privy Council

Back to the future? The law and the use of hoverboards

Resentencing the Krays

CPS and police struggle under the load of sex abuse investigations

Stoptober and new offences: the month of nicotine

Drones: A fashion week toy or a prosecution waiting to happen?

Freshers’ Week - #ConsentIs… drunkenness is not a defence

Police powers: common law and disclosing information

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