While the juvenile court system operates in a vastly different manner than the adult system, that doesn’t mean that minors are without rights. In fact, when it comes to sentencing, minors are protected from many of the worst criminal penalties, for example, capital punishment, even if they are tried in adult court. If your child has been arrested and you have any questions about his or her rights, please call San Diego juvenile lawyer Peter M. Liss.
School officials and police on school grounds cannot search a child’s locker unless they have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. It is important to note that while this is a lesser standard of proof than probable cause, it does still require the officials to have a reasonable suspicion that the student has violated a school rule or law, so random locker searches are not permitted. If a child’s rights protecting him or her from unreasonable searches have been violated by the police or school officials, your San Diego juvenile attorney may be able to have evidence related to the search suppressed from the trial so it cannot be used against your child.
When police question a minor, the child should answer questions related to his or her identity, but like an adult being questioned by the police, he or she is not required to answer any questions related to criminal activities and may request to speak with a San Diego juvenile lawyer.
It is important to note that you are not required to be there if the police interrogate your child, so you should teach your children to always ask to speak with a lawyer if the police try to interrogate them. You should also know that if you and your child are left alone in an interrogation room, your conversation may be recorded and could be used against your child as evidence. Do not discuss anything about the crime your child has been accused of until you have a lawyer present or until you leave the police station after your child is released back into your custody.
Like adults who get arrested, minors who are placed under arrest have the right to make a phone call so they can contact a San Diego juvenile crimes lawyer. They are also granted one additional phone call so they can notify their parents they have been arrested. Once the child is placed under arrest, the prosecution has 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays to file charges or else the minor must be released from custody.
There are some ways that minors have fewer rights than adults though. For example, they cannot be granted bail and they have no right to trial by jury. If you have any questions about your child’s rights after he or she has been accused of a crime, please contact San Diego juvenile crimes attorney Peter M. Liss at (858) 486-3024.
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