Can police question a minor without a parent’s consent?

| May 10, 2021 | Juvenile Criminal Defense |

The general answer to the question of Louisiana police questioning a minor about criminal activity is yes, but this is a qualified yes. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police should always take into consideration the age of the questioned subject regardless of involvement.

Minors have a right to remain silent just as an adult, but parents also have a right to know what is happening to their child as well. They are not “miniature adults” according to SCOTUS. They are still developing with respect to understanding official inquiry situations, and many are taught to trust the police.

Miranda rights and minors

The right to remain silent can be a difficult legal concept for many, and especially minors. Police can lie to suspects in questioning, including minors, and minors can easily incriminate themselves without knowing. The question is one of police custody. Those who are questioned without being taken into custody or the equivalent thereof do not yet have the Miranda right to be informed that they can stop answering questions. Certain questions such as their name MUST be answered honestly. But, it is now a requirement that officers should seriously consider age in questioning minors.

Defending a juvenile criminal case

The responsibility to provide criminal defense for a child typically rests upon the parents. And parents have considerable recourse if their child has been questioned without their presence or if the child was questioned outside of proper investigation and arrest protocol. They could easily be considered by the police to be in official custody with the child not knowing.

Louisiana criminal defense attorneys advise all parents that their child can easily have their rights denied when speaking with police about criminal activity even when they are not directly involved. Always consult with an attorney when any interaction of this sort occurs between your child and the police.