Criminal Defense for Juveniles: What are My Child's Rights?
Receiving a phone call that your underage child has been arrested can be one of the most difficult experiences to go through as a parent. These hard times come with a lot of questions. Many parents question where they went wrong, and many others question how they could have missed signs their child was getting into trouble. One thing all parents find themselves wondering is what their child's rights are when these arrests occur.
Below is a list of rights your child does (or does not) have in the eyes of the law. If your child has recently been arrested and you need further legal advice or representation, contact us now so we can start guiding you toward the path of understanding and due process.
Right to be Searched Only by Probable Cause
Law enforcement officers cannot search your child without probable cause. While public officials or school authority figures have the right to search under reasonable suspicion (due to quasi-parental status at applicable times and places), your child is protected from being unlawfully searched by Police at any time.
No Constitutional Right to Receive Bail
Minors retain no constitutional right to a bail or a bond. While most children are released to their parent or guardian shortly after detention, those who are not released must appear in front of a judge to be explained his or her charges and reason for prolonged detainment.
Right to a Phone Call after Arrest
If law enforcement determines the nature of the crime is one in which the juvenile is not likely to be released within a short amount of time, the child is granted a phone call to a guardian or other parental figure. It is important to remember that immediately after requesting to call or speak with a parent or an attorney, the child invokes his or her Miranda rights, which gives the right to remain silent until a parent or representation has arrived. There have been many circumstances in which police have ignored or denied a juvenile's request to speak with an attorney or a parent, and anything the minor child said after this denial was deemed inadmissible in court.
Right to an Attorney
Juveniles who are facing criminal charges have the right to legal representation just as any adult would while facing charges. If a minor child or his or her family can not afford legal representation, the juvenile retains the right to representation by state-appointed counsel.
Right to Fifth Amendment
While better identified as a privilege against self-incrimination, minors have the right not to testify and cannot be forced to incriminate themselves on the witness stand.
There are more rights relating to criminal accusations that minors do (or do not) retain. If you still have questions about your case, please call us so we can set up a consultation with your family during this difficult time.
For more resources and information, visit https://www.justice.gov/crt/rights-juveniles.