The first time a young person (12 to 17 years) does something wrong, he or she will not usually have to go to court. If it is not the first time they have been in trouble or they did something more serious, like had a weapon such as a knife or gun, they will have to go to Youth Court.
If the judge at the Youth Court decides you are guilty, they can do the following:
- Make you pay a fine
- Make you pay for damage with money or by working
- Give you volunteer work to do in the community
- Let you go home, but have someone from the court check on you for up to two years (probation)
- Make you go to jail if it’s a serious crime
If someone over 14 years old is accused of a very serious crime, like murder, they can be sentenced as an adult. For more information, see Crime.