Helping you get through life
How you are treated if you are deemed to break the law will change depending on how old you are. Have a little look at our breakdown.
A child under ten is not considered to be capable of deciding whether an action is right or wrong. They cannot be taken to court and charged with a criminal offence. If you are over the age of ten you can be fingerprinted, photographed and searched while you are in police custody.
If you are aged ten but under 14 years old you are considered to be responsible for a criminal offence and are treated in the same way as any young person under 18. This means that you can face criminal proceedings, although your case will normally be dealt with in a youth court.
If you're 14 or over, you will normally be expected to give evidence as a witness under oath. If you're under 14, you'll normally give evidence without swearing an oath. If you're under 18 (17 in Northern Ireland), the court may help you to give evidence using special measures. You may be able to give evidence:
If you are 16 or over and have been involved in anti social behaviour, you may be issued with a penalty notice.
If you are under 18, you cannot normally start court proceedings in your own name and a litigation friend (next friend in Northern Ireland) - usually your parent - must act on your behalf.
For more information visit on what you can and cannot do with each year visit The Site.
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