It can be difficult to remember your rights or act to protect them as a juvenile or the parent of a juvenile when facing criminal charges. However, knowing what to do when the police are investigating you or your child is often the key to a successful case outcome.
Here’s how juveniles or the parent of a juvenile can protect their rights:
If the police want to search your vehicle or personal property, they must first have a search warrant signed by a judge, probable cause, or your express permission. This is the same for both adults and juveniles. Unlike adults, however, juveniles lose rights to their property against unreasonable searches when they enter a school building. If school officials or law enforcement officers have received reports that cause them to believe a crime or rule violation has occurred, they have the right to search your locker, backpack, and clothing for evidence without your permission or a warrant.
As a juvenile, you do not have to answer any questions without your parent or guardian being present. As soon as you are taken into the police or school custody on the suspicion that you’ve committed a crime, you are allowed to request that your parent or guardian be notified and attend any interview the police or the school wishes to conduct. You also have the right to remain silent and do not have to say anything or answer any questions, even if you are arrested. This is the same right that an adult has to remain silent.
You have additional rights if law enforcement officers decide to take you into custody via arrest. Continue exercising your right to remain silent and do not consent to any searches. Juveniles are allowed two phone calls instead of one so they can contact both an attorney and their parent(s) or guardian(s). Juveniles also have a different due process than adults, and often hearings are expedited.
Are you under the age of 18 and are facing criminal charges? Or, are you the parent or guardian of a juvenile who has been arrested? Get the legal support you need as soon as possible to protect your rights. Call now for more information or to schedule your initial consultation at 281.570.6400.