Just like adult offenders, minors who are charged with crimes have rights and protections under the law. But these rights vary from the rights of adults who are arrested and charged, which is why you should only work with a top San Diego juvenile lawyer if your child is charged with a crime.
Like adults, juveniles have the fifth amendment right to silence. They are required to answer questions about their identities when questioned by the police, but they are not required to answer any inquiries about criminal activities. If a juvenile is questioned by the police, he or she should immediately request to speak with a San Diego juvenile attorney before answering any questions. While some parents believe the police cannot interrogate their children without a guardian present, this is not true, so children should be taught to ask for a San Diego criminal lawyer if they are questioned by police. Additionally, anything said in an interrogation room between a parent and child can be recorded and used as evidence, so this is not a place to discuss the situation with your child unless you have an attorney present.
Minors also have the right to call their San Diego criminal attorney when they have been placed under arrest and they have the right to call their parents. After being placed under arrest, the prosecution has 48 hours to file charges against the minor (excluding weekends and holidays) or the juvenile must be released from police custody.
One of the most common ways juveniles have their rights violated is when a school official searches a child’s locker or backpack without a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. While this standard is lower than that of probably cause, officials still must have a reason to believe a student has violated a school rule or a law. If a teacher decides to search a child’s backpack because he or she did not do homework or if a vice principal decides to do random locker searches, they are violating the rights of their students, which means if they uncovered evidence of a crime during the search, a San Diego juvenile attorney could have it withheld from the trial.
There are many provisions in the juvenile law to keep a child’s record clean, so you should always consult a San Diego juvenile lawyer before going to court.
It is important to teach children their rights so they can protect themselves if they end up in legal trouble. If your child does run afoul of the law, a San Diego juvenile lawyer like Peter M. Liss can help you protect your child’s rights and fight for his or her innocence. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
Creative Commons Image by woodleywonderworks