How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16110
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
19487448
Type Your Legal Question Here...
ScottyMacEsq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 16 year old son is about to be questioned at his school

This answer was rated:

My 16 year old son is about to be questioned at his school today by the police regarding an incident last night where he and his friends took LSD in a state forest. One of his friends went missing, sparking a 6 hr man hunt. Because this used considerable resources, it is prompting an investigation. About 6 months ago, my son completed juvenile arbitration after we had him arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Two questions: Is there anything my son should not NOT say during questioning today? (I will be present). Also, how will his past arrest affect this incident?

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

What were the terms of the arbitration? When you say that he completed it, you mean to say that even if he were arrested again, the terms were such that it would not be used (such as a deferred adjudication situation)?

Customer:

I am not sure what that last part means

ScottyMacEsq :

Basically when there is some sort of extrajuidical process that results in something less than a conviction, that's usually in exchange for your son agreeing to certain terms.

ScottyMacEsq :

If those terms are not met, that typically means that they will prosecute, or that he will be convicted, etc...

ScottyMacEsq :

And this is generally for a specific period of time..

ScottyMacEsq :

That is, if he stays out of trouble for X months / years, and does the other agreed upon actions, then it will be dismissed...

Customer:

The hearing is in 25 min. my main thing right now is what he should or should not say at the hearing. My understanding of the arbitration process was that if he messed up again he could go before a judge

Customer:

Can you call me? I need to leave now for the school. also I would like to continue this dialogue after the hearing if possible

ScottyMacEsq :

Unfortunately I can't call or otherwise contact you outside of this website.

ScottyMacEsq :

But I will tell you what I can...

ScottyMacEsq :

Per your question, your son does have 5th amendment rights against self incrimination. So he certainly does not have to admit that he was doing any illegal drugs, contributing them, buying them, etc...

ScottyMacEsq :

He can admit that he was present and witnessed others doing the drugs (as this is true even if he partook in it himself, but would not be a crime to witness or be present in that situation). I

ScottyMacEsq :

He should not lie in any situation.

ScottyMacEsq :

A false statement to a police officer is an entirely separate offense.

ScottyMacEsq :

If he's asked, point blank, about whether or not he did drugs, supplied them, etc... he should "invoke" his "5th amendment rights against self incrimination".

ScottyMacEsq :

This cannot be used in court as evidence of his guilt.

Customer:

He already confessed at the scene last night and is under the impression that he can't be charged with a crime because no one was in possession of the LSD.

ScottyMacEsq :

Even if by all intents and purposes it indicates that he is guilty, it would be inadmissible (it can't even be brought up by the prosecutor that the 5th was invovkewd0

ScottyMacEsq :

He could still be charged with a crime by the consumption of the LSD, and a doctrine known as "constructive possession" (if you consumed something, and admit to that, then it's clear that you possessed it).

ScottyMacEsq :

Now not knowing specifically what he said, or whether he was informed of his Miranda rights when he confessed, I would still suggest that he invoke the 5th.

ScottyMacEsq :

There's almost zero benefit to incriminating one's self in this situation.

Customer:

i have to leave now......can we continue this when I get back?

ScottyMacEsq :

Of course he should comply with the investigation as much as possible to the point that he doesn't incriminate himself.

Customer:

can he still invoke his miranda rights if he is being questioned by an official from the SC Forestry Commission?

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes, we can continue. I do ask that you rate this question now, so that it closes out and allows me to assist other customers, but when you come back, we can continue without you having to start a new one.

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes.

ScottyMacEsq and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you