While the act of questioning and processing juveniles differs from adults, the actual arrest doesn’t differ for the two. It doesn’t matter if the police are dealing with an adult or a minor, the arresting officers must read the arrestee their Miranda Rights.
What are the Miranda Rights
Most people are familiar with the Miranda Rights. Whenever the police arrest someone who they believe committed a crime, they recite a short speech that serves as a detailed list of rights the prisoner has. The Miranda Rights were named after Ernesto Miranda who went before the U.S. Supreme Court after he self-incriminated himself. During the case, his lawyer argued that Miranda should have been told that he wasn’t required to speak to the police and answer their questions when his lawyer wasn’t present.
When the Miranda Rights are Read
While procedural shows indicate that the police read the Miranda Rights to a suspect as soon as they’re arrested, it’s not a requirement. Police are allowed to take a suspect into custody without reading them their Miranda Rights. The law states that the police don’t have to read the Miranda Rights to a suspect until they’re ready to interrogate them.
How Do Juvenile Arrests Differ From Adults
In the State of California, when a police officer arrests someone who is under the age of 18, they must recite the Miranda Rights to the suspect. Due to the Terry Stop Law, if the police find a juvenile who they suspect is guilty of committing a crime, they are allowed to ask them a few brief questions, which should be designed to determine if they need to take the youth into custody, without Mirandizing them.
Juveniles who are over the age of 15 are allowed to waive their Miranda Rights. Children under the age of 15 are not legally allowed to waive their Miranda Rights until they’ve spoken to an attorney.
Can the Police Question a Juvenile Without the Child’s Parent
Many parents believe that the police aren’t allowed to question a juvenile without a parent being present. That’s not the case. Under California law, the police can question juvenile suspects without having the parents present. However, if the child asks for their parents, the police must stop the interrogation until the parents are available.
If your child is arrested and has been read their Miranda Rights, as their parent, it’s important to remember that any conversation you have with them while you’re in the police station, even the ones that feel private, could be recorded and monitored. Don’t ask.