Your Legal Rights

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If you have witnessed or committed crime, you have rights.

Crime

If you, or someone that you know, does something that is against the law, that is a crime. This can also be called “committing an offence”.

Committing a crime can lead to a caution, court case or in some cases a prison sentence.

The police are there to protect you and those around you. If they think you, or someone else, is acting suspiciously and could be a danger, they may stop and search you. This could be because they think there are weapons or illegal drugs are involved.

If the police suspect you of committing a crime and you are over the age of 10, they can arrest you. This means you will be taken to a police station and you’ll be questioned. Afterwards, they can let you go with a verbal warning, give you a caution, or arrange for you to be charged with a crime.

If you’re stopped, the police can only search your outer clothes, pockets, and bags in public.

It’s important to remember you have rights. You are allowed to remain silent, but you can also ask them questions if you’re not sure what is going on. stay calm and don’t get aggressive as this will only cause more problems. Take deep breathes to avoid panicking and getting angry.

Here is some helpful advice on how to act while being stopped and searched by Y.Stop.

If you are charged with a crime, you will be given a date to go to court for a hearing. If the court decides you are guilty, the judge can give you a fine, referral orders, or a prison sentence.

You can even get in trouble if you didn’t commit the crime, but helped the guilty person. If you act as a lookout so someone can commit a crime, or hid stolen items, you are at least partially responsible and can be charged.

If you are convicted of a crime or been given a caution, this will go on your criminal record. This can negatively affect you, such as when you apply to go to college, university, or for a job. There are some career paths that won’t employ someone with a criminal record. Also, some countries also don’t allow people with criminal records to visit.

For more information and support, you can check out these organisations.

Childline – Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.

Government – The best place to find government services and information.

Crown Prosecution Service – Prosecutes criminal cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations in England and Wales.

Citizen’s Advice – We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

Legal Advice and Support

There will be a wide variety of reasons why at certain points in your life you will need legal advice. It could be for buying a house or may be something has gone wrong with an item you bought and you are in dispute with the company that made it or the company you bought it from.

There is the possibility that you will need legal support because you have been arrested and charged with a crime by the police.

It is not always necessary to consult a solicitor in order to get legal advice – here are some organisations that can provide further information and support.

The Mix – Essential support for under 25s.

Citizen’s Advice – We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.

Advice UK – We are a registered charity which supports the country’s largest network of Independent Advice Services.

Government – The best place to find government services and information.

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