Services & Expertise

If Your Child Or Pupil Is In Trouble With The Police

  • Don’t panic
  • Your child is entitled to be represented at the police station by a solicitor. Our solicitors are very experienced with dealing with children and those under a disability and the police station and through the Youth Court and Magistrate Court system.
  • Your child has a right for an appropriate adult to attend with them at the police station. Often as a parent you would be asked by the police to attend the police station as an appropriate adult. The role of an appropriate adult is to facilitate communication between the police and the youth. An appropriate adult will have regard to the welfare needs of the child. An appropriate adult is not there to give legal advice to the youth. An appropriate adult will facilitate communication between the youth and the solicitor.
  • If you are asked to attend the police station with your child as an appropriate adult you should ensure that a solicitor attends as well in order that the child can have appropriate legal advice. That advice is provided free of charge.
  • If you are a school teacher or a carer for a child and are asked to attend the police station as an appropriate adult then again you can request a solicitor attend free of charge to give the child/youth legal advice.
  • The police have the right to arrest and detain a child if the child is suspected of committing an arrestable offence. The period of detention is limited by law to generally no more than 24 hours. This can be extended subject to certain rules. You should take expert legal advice from our criminal defence team on these issues.
  • If you are 17 or your child is 17 then they are entitled to request an appropriate adult attend the police station with them. They are also entitled likewise to request free legal advice at the police station.
  • You may be offered a service with the duty solicitor. You do have the right to request a solicitor of your choice.
  • If you are concerned that your child has an illness or a disability which the police are not aware of then you should contact the police station where they have been arrested and pass on that information to the custody officer. Likewise you should contact us and we would contact the police station on your behalf.
  • We appreciate that some parents allow their child to be interviewed and mid point through the process recognise the need for a solicitor. The question is do you have the right to stop the process and request a solicitor attend? The answer to that is yes. You do have the right at any point during the process to ask for the interview to be stopped so that a solicitor can be requested to attend the police station. Don’t forget it is always advisable to have a solicitor attend the police station from the outset but if for some reason that does not happen you can still request a solicitor attend mid point through the process.

In this section