Police can be intimidating, particularly to children – and many kids don’t know that they have the same right to remain silent that adults do. So what should you do if you find out that police interrogated your child without you?
Before you do anything else, call to a Chicago criminal defense attorney. He’ll start to do damage control and ensure that your child’s rights were not violated.
Do Juveniles Have Rights?
Like adults, kids have the right to have an attorney present when they speak to police after an arrest. Often, investigators take advantage of their youthful ignorance and press for answers and lead kids to believe that talking will help their case. (And just like with adults, it’s usually better not to say anything at all.)
Unfortunately, kids can accidentally say something that can be used against them in court—even if they’re completely innocent—and once they’ve said something, they can’t take it back.
The worst part is that children may feel like they’re being detained even when they’re not. They don’t know to ask, which can actually lead to an arrest if they stick around and answer questions.
As a parent, you have the right to be notified if your child is taken into custody.
What to Do if Police Interrogate Your Child
When you talk to your Chicago criminal defense lawyer, make sure that you provide him with all the details you have. Your lawyer will probably want to speak with your child, as well. If possible, get a copy of the police report so that your attorney can look it over and determine whether your child was illegally detained or whether his or her rights were violated.
Talking to Your Kids about Police Interrogations
The best time to talk to your children about how to deal with police is before it ever happens. Make sure that your kids know they can ask police if they’re being detained – and that if they’re not being detained, they’re free to leave the area. Tell them that they don’t have to say anything until you arrive with a lawyer.