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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 32821
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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I have a question about a 17 yr old that was arrested ...

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I have a question about a 17 yr old that was arrested for criminal damages. He was arrested in Arizona and had no legal representation nor did he have a parent with him during questioning. This is his first time being in any trouble, gets good grades and plays sports. Was he entitled to any legal representation for we were called and had to wait for over 2 hours in the lobby of police station before he was released (there were 2 other boys with him).
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the opportunity to assist

Can you provide a bit more informaton...was he arrested and taken to the police station and questioned

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Philip Simmons's Post: They were questioned at the car then arrested and then taken to police station to be read their rights.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.

Thanks for that

There is not a requirement that the parent be present during questioning. However, if they are not, if the child makes a statement, there is a possibility the statement can be suppressed:

A. The Totality of the Circumstances Approach

The federal courts and the majority of state courts employ the totality of the circumstances approach. (54) Under this test, the presence or absence of a parent, guardian or lawyer prior to a juvenile's waiver of his Miranda rights is but one factor in determining whether the waiver was knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made. Additional factors include the juvenile's age, intelligence, background, experience, education, mental capacity, physical condition at the time of the questioning, and any abuse by the police. (55) As the consensus amongst judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers is that the presence of an adult prior to and during interrogation is an added protection for a juvenile suspect, it follows that this presence will be given great weight by a court employing the totality of the circumstances test to determine a waiver's validity. In other words, a court may determine that what a juvenile lacks in maturity or intelligence is compensated for by the presence of his parent or guardian during the interrogation. (56)

In the landmark case Fare v. Michael C., the U.S. Supreme Court adopted the totality of the circumstances test as a means of determining the validity of a juvenile's waiver, and laid out the factors which courts may consider in making this inquiry. (57) In Fare, a sixteen-year-old suspect with prior arrests was taken into custody on suspicion of murder. (58) After being fully advised of his Miranda rights, the juvenile requested to speak with his probation officer. (59) The police denied his request, and the juvenile subsequently made self-incriminating statements. (60)

SO, while I understand you are upset they did not contact may backfire by negating the ability to introduce any statement they may have made.

If they plan to charge you son, you should seek the assistance of a GOOD criminal defense attorney...they can let you know if the statement can be suppressed

best of luck

Please let me know if you have questions else please hit the green button, its the only way i get paid

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