QUESTION

Can police question my minor child without me being there?

Asked on Oct 26th, 2011 on Criminal Law - Western Australia
More details to this question:
Can police question my minor child without me being there or having my consent to do so? I was called to the school because some girls mom said last week my son was wrestling with her daughter and touched her inappropriately. Before I could get to the school the police had already questioned our son, when we asked the officer if he had questioned our son he replied no. We asked our son and he said he had, then the officer said that he did ask him questions, apparently enough to cite him for 3rd degree sexual assault. Our son is 12 years old.
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Answered on Jun 03rd, 2013 at 12:10 AM
No.

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Answered on Jun 03rd, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Yes.

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Answered on Nov 02nd, 2011 at 11:16 PM
As soon as a police officer arrests a child under 16 years of age and takes him into custody he must make every reasonable effort to notify a parents or other person legally responsible for the child's care (McKinney's Family Court Act, 305.2). The child may not be questioned unless he and his parents or other person legally responsible for his care been advised of the child's right to remain silent and request to have an attorney. (McKinney's Family Court Act, 305.2). The police must make responsible efforts to notify a parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care and give them an opportunity to be present. A violation by the police bars the admission of any statement the child makes. If the police have made reasonable efforts to notify the parents or other legally responsible person, their absence at the time of questioning does not automatically bar the admission of any statement the child makes. Their absence at the time of questioning is one factor the court considers to determine whether the statements were made voluntarily.

Seth D. Schraier, Esq. Law Office of Seth Schraier 3647 Broadway Suite 4G New York, New York 10031 Cell: (914) 907-8632 www.SchraierLaw.com

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Answered on Oct 31st, 2011 at 3:02 PM
The police do not need your permission or presence to question your child. In fact, they can take him down to the police station and before a judge before notifying you that they have done this.

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Answered on Oct 31st, 2011 at 12:12 PM
Unfortunately, in Washington, law enforcement can interview a minor without a parent present.

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Answered on Oct 28th, 2011 at 2:44 PM
The police do not need your permission or consent to speak with your child. However, your child can refuse to talk to the police and you should instruct your children that they always have the right and it is best not to speak with police until they've spoken with you and/or an attorney.

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Answered on Oct 28th, 2011 at 12:35 PM
The officer should have waited for your arrival to question your son. You should contact an attorney who may be able to move to suppress any statements made by your son. Your son has the right to remain silent and if he was not advised of that or did not understand, his statements may be able to be suppressed.

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Answered on Oct 28th, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Under PA law, one must look at "the totality of the circumstances" to determine if/how a minor may be interrogated. A lawyer would need many more facts to analyze your question.

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Answered on Oct 28th, 2011 at 12:30 AM
Thank you for your inquiry The rule used to be that no questioning could occur without a parent present. It has evolved into more a question of whether the setting/means of the questioning is coercive. If so, then statements made by the juvenile are not admissible. In short, a CSC charge is a serious thing which should be enough to suggest that you immediately hire an attorney to get involved in the defense. Your attorney should be familiar with defending CSC cases just like my office. Without representation, there may be a great degree of difficulty ahead.

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Answered on Oct 28th, 2011 at 12:29 AM
Yes. Your child has to request a lawyer. That is s/he has to 'lawyer up.' The police are not going to look after your child's rights. They need to be taught to say, "I want a lawyer present before I answer any questions." Children need to be told that when a police officer starts questioning them about a crime where they weren't the victim, the police are probably gathering evidence against that child. You children need to be taught to tell the police that "I am not going to answer any questions."

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 11:16 PM
The police do have the right to question a child without the parents presence. The police can take into custody and arrest a child without first informing the parents. If this happens the parents must be notified immediately. A child has the right to remain silent. A child has the right to an attorney to be present at the questioning. Because of a childs comprehension of the situation differs from an adults their understanding of questioning will also differ. Minors may acquiescence to authority and require Miranda notifications in situations that adults would not. Police officers are required to exercise more care during the questioning of minors. Police officers need to employ methods that balance the child's age against the other circumstances of the case, such as where the interview takes place and who else is present in the room. Remember all questioning of minors or adults has to stop as soon as the person being questioned asks for an attorney.

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Yes. They can question. They should try to reach parents before they can start.

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 8:55 PM
The police should have waited for you to arrive before questioning the child. Talk to your son's attorney he might be able to get the statement thrown out.

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 8:29 PM
Violating his rights requires suppression of his statement. Obviously you need to hire the best lawyer you can afford for this charge. That lawyer will be able to spot the violations.

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 7:22 PM
The child's age raises issues of whether the child gave a statement voluntarily, with a full understanding of his/her right to remain silent and to have an attorney present. There is no hard and fast rule. A judge must decide whether quetion your child without a parent present justifies the suppression of any statement given by the child and any other evidence which is "the fruit of the poisonous tree."

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 6:28 PM
This is a very serious offense that can have profound consequences. Consult a lawyer as soon ad possible. The issue is if his statements can be used against him and the answer is something you should discuss with the lawyer.

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 5:39 PM
No they cannot without a parent or CPS present.

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 5:30 PM
No they can't question without you being there.

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Answered on Oct 27th, 2011 at 4:40 PM
Generally this is not acceptable. There is some latitude when questioning about sexual issues. My advice to you, especially since your son has been charged, is to retain the services of an attorney, and until you do so, do not let your son talk to anyone about the alleged incident. Do not put this off.

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