Facing criminal charges is a frightening experience for anyone, especially a child. If you are a juvenile or the parent of a juvenile who is being investigated for a crime or has been arrested, it’s critical that you understand what law enforcement can and cannot do. Here’s what to know about juvenile rights.
Can the Police Search My Property?
The police can only legally search your property outside of school if you give them permission to, they have probable cause, or they have a search warrant that was issued by a judge. Otherwise, if a search is conducted, it may be considered illegal and the evidence obtained during the search dismissed. The rules differ greatly once you enter a school building, however. Whether you give permission or not, police officers and school officials can conduct a search of your locker, backpack, and other personal property if they have reason to believe you violated a school rule or committed a crime.
Can the Police Question Me Without a Guardian?
If you are under the age of 18, you should not be questioned by law enforcement or school officials without your parent or guardian present. However, this doesn’t necessarily stop them from trying and you may find yourself sitting alone in a room being grilled by a police officer who promises to make your punishment lighter if you just answer the questions. It’s in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent and request that your parent or guardian be notified prior to giving out any information.
Do I Have Special Rights If I’m Arrested?
Generally, juveniles have the same constitutional rights as an adult when arrested by the police. They still have the right to remain silent and must be read their Miranda rights.
Juveniles should be allowed two phone calls instead of a single one so they can contact their parents/guardians and a lawyer. A juvenile has the right to secure their own attorney and if they cannot obtain one, an attorney will be provided to them.
Get the Help of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you are a juvenile facing criminal penalties or the parent of one, it’s in your best interest to reach out for legal assistance as soon as possible.
Juvenile court differs greatly from adult court, and you need an attorney who understands these differences and can help you navigate your case. Call today for a consultation at 860-530-1781.