Being a juvenile and facing criminal charges is a frightening experience. It’s also difficult for the parents of the child, who may not know how best to help them. First and foremost, it’s critical to understand the rights of the defendant and how you can protect them. Here’s what you need to know.
Rights During Property Searches
School officials have the right to search your locker, backpack, and person if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime or school violation has occurred, even if you do not consent to the search. However, your personal vehicle, your home, and any other personal property may not be searched without your consent, probable cause, or a search warrant by law enforcement officers if you are not on school property. You should politely decline to consent to any search at any time and notify your parent, guardian, or lawyer if a search was conducted.
Rights During Questioning
Juveniles have the right to remain silent just like adults do when being questioned by police. Furthermore, they also have the right to the presence of their parent or guardian while being interviewed or questioned. If taken aside for questioning at school, a juvenile should request that their parent be informed and their presence requested before saying anything. They are not required to answer any questions without their guardian present. If outside of school, juveniles do not have to provide any information to the police other than what is required for identification.
Rights After an Arrest
If you are arrested, you have similar rights to an adult who is taken into police custody. You still have the right to remain silent and should, but you also have the right to make two phone calls; one to your parent or guardian and one to an attorney. You have the right to have a lawyer and your parent or guardian present at all times during the juvenile court process, from your arrest to the final verdict.
Contact an Experienced Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Are you a juvenile who was charged with a serious crime, or are you the parent of one? It’s extremely important that you act as quickly as possible to secure trustworthy legal representation to protect your future or the future of your child. Call Mirsky Defense, LLC for a consultation to learn more about your rights as a juvenile in a criminal case and to get help protecting them at (203) 290-2779.