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Michelle, Elected/Appointed Official
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4136
Experience:  30 + yrs in the legal profession incl. criminal, family, politics, legislator judiciary 6 yrs
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Is it a proper charge.

This answer was rated:

I school administrator coerced a juvenile to seach a car off school property. Then called a police officer to write a citation for
drug paraphrenalia. He said the school property extended to the adjacent public parking lot.

Dear Customer

It is questionable - when you say "coerced" the juvenile to let him into the car - how would that be exactly?

Thanks for the additional information so I can provide most accurate information


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
After refusing to let the student call parents and an hour of questioning,he said he learned from another student where the car was. He sent a police officer who said he saw weed Which he radioed back to the administrator. The weed turned out to be mud but a pipe was found in the glove box. The administration told the student he had the authority to have her open the car. He did not ask for consent. The paraphrenalia belong to a friend of the student.

Dear Customer

The student had the right to deny access to the vehicle - if they wanted to get in they should have had a warrant, which would have been based on Probable Cause. But if the student said No, you cannot open and search my car then this would be a violation.

Based on the information that you have provided, I suggest that you consult with a local attorney who can work to have any charges dismissed based on the violation of the rights.

As far as a phone call to the parents, the US Supreme Court has ruled the following:

Juveniles have the same rights as adults when ARRESTED


* The right to an attorney.
* The right to consult with parents. (The juvenile is only supposed to be allowed to waive the right to an attorney AFTER consulting with his or her parents, but the parents themselves can not waive the child's right to an attorney.)
*The right to be fully informed of exactly what is being charged.
* All of the normal rights regarding courtroom procedure, including the right to confront the accuser and cross examine witnesses, subpoena witnesses to court, keep out hearsay evidence, require the prosecution to provide you with evidence the prosecution has that might indicate innocence, the right to testify AND the right to remain silent.
* The right to remain silent at all stages of the case, even when first stopped by a police officer. (in your case the school administrators or whoever did the investigation)
* Some right to be free from unreasonable search or seizure (but the courts are very loose in determining what is a "reasonable" search or seizure when a juvenile is involved).
* Juveniles must also be kept in juvenile facility instead of an adult jail, but the functional difference between the two may be nonexistent, except that the juvenile facility has other juveniles in it instead of inmates older than 18.

So if there is an ARREST they would be allowed to consult with a parent as to whether they should have an attorney present. If he was not free to leave then there was an arrest. If he was told that he could go at anytime then there was no arrest. People often do not know when they are ARRESTED. And they do not know they do not have to participate in questioning without an attorney or for a minor a parent. Though the minor did say he wanted to have a parent present.


Michelle and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The student did say no but after the administrator said he had the authoity she unlocked the car. Does that change anything. Also what is the status of the administrator in an adjacent parking lot. Is it the same authority as in school.

Dear Customer

It could change somewhat - because she did willingly let him in - and, unfortunately, there are no laws about "tactics" used to get information - outside of brutality, of course. There could be some authority to the administrator in the other parking lot. But really that is insignificant.

The focus needs to be on the "search" of the vehicle. While she did give permission after the intimidation - the fact remains that she was denied the right to consult with a parent. There could be something there.


Michelle and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you