Young person who commits a criminal offence. In UK law, young people under the age of 17 are commonly referred to as juveniles, although for some purposes a distinction is made between children (under the age of 14) and young persons (1416). A juvenile under the age of ten may not be found guilty of an offence.
Most legal proceedings in respect of juveniles are brought in special magistrates' courts known as juvenile courts, where the procedure is simpler and less formal than in an adult magistrates' court. Members of the public are not admitted and the name of the juvenile may not be disclosed in any report of the proceedings. Juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to imprisonment; instead they may be sent to a young offender institution.
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