As a parent, you would no doubt be concerned if police questioned your child without your knowledge, especially if they are being treated as a suspect. You might feel it’s your right as a parent or guardian to be present during police encounters with your child. However, it is legal for police to question minors without parental presence or consent here in Arizona.
Police Can Question Minors Without Parental Consent
Even though police have the right to question children, parents do have a right to be upset about not being asked for their consent. After all, minors are more easily influenced by adults, and the last thing you want is your child confessing to something they didn’t do because they were scared or given bad advice by the police officer questioning them.
Miranda Rights for Minors
According to a recent Supreme Court case, minors have Miranda Rights. Additionally, when a minor is being questioned, they are more likely to believe they are in custody, which means that the police officers questioning them must read them their Miranda Rights. Minors do not have to answer any questions and officers are not allowed to coerce or force answers. The problem is that many minors are not going to understand what their Miranda Rights are.
As a parent, you may have taught your children to trust police officers and cooperate with them, because it’s important for their safety, the officer’s safety, and public safety. It’s equally important to teach them about their civil rights. Cooperation does not mean forfeiting your rights.
Consult with an Attorney
Even though police officers can question minors, there are strict rules in place to ensure that their rights are protected. Incriminating information gathered without the proper police procedures can be thrown out. If your child is facing charges, contact a juvenile law attorney at Pinnacle Law.