It’s frightening being a juvenile and facing the consequences of a crime. Parents of juveniles who are arrested also face many challenges ahead. Protecting your rights or the rights of your child after an arrest or during a criminal investigation is key. Here’s what you need to understand about juvenile rights and how to get legal help.
Your Right to Reasonable Searches of Your Property
At school, you have fewer rights against unreasonable searches of your property than you do outside of school. If you are suspected to have committed a crime or violated a school rule, school officials and police officers can conduct a thorough search of your backpack, locker, and your person for evidence of the alleged violation. If you’re not at school though, the police cannot search your vehicle, person, home, or other personal property without first having either your consent, probable cause, or a search warrant issued by a judge. Do not give permission for a search, but don’t resist if police conduct one anyway.
Your Right to Not Be Questioned Without a Guardian
Juveniles have the unique right to not be interviewed by the police or school officials in relation to a crime without the presence of a parent or guardian. Police should wait to ask any questions until the child’s guardian has arrived, however, they don’t often do. School officials and law enforcement officers may try to take advantage of a child who doesn’t understand this and attempt to coerce information out of them by promising that answering questions will help their case or lessen their punishment, even if it’s not true.
Your Rights After Being Arrested
After being arrested, juveniles have similar rights to adults save for a few exceptions. You can and should still be exercising your right to remain silent, and at this time, you should be allowed to make not one but two phone calls to both a lawyer and your parents or guardian. If the police do not offer, you have the right to request them.
Should You Contact an Attorney?
If your child was charged with a crime, it’s critical that you get legal assistance immediately. If you’re a juvenile who has been arrested, you can (and should) also talk to an attorney. Chad Lewin is an experienced criminal lawyer who can assist you with navigating the juvenile criminal justice system. Call now at (800) 458-1488 for more information.