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What To Do If the Police Want to Question Your Child

Child being questioned
July 17, 2019 | Written by Dan Margolis

If the police want to question your child, it might seem like a good idea to let them, particularly if they say cooperating could help your son or daughter. The truth is allowing the police to talk with your child could have serious, drastic consequences. Before you let them say anything to the police, talk with a Cleveland juvenile defense attorney about your child’s case.

The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC can help you protect your son or daughter. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call (216) 533-9533 today, or reach out via the online form.

Your Child’s Rights

When police approach a minor, they cannot be forced to answer questions or incriminate themselves in any way. Your child can ask to call a parent or an attorney, and they can refuse to answer questions. The police do not have to ask them if they want to call you or a lawyer, but if your son or daughter requests this, law enforcement must honor the request. If you are present, you can refuse to allow your child to answer questions. You should be aware, however, that the police don’t have to allow you to be present for questioning or attempts at questioning your son or daughter.

What are Your Child’s Rights When Detained?

If your child is taken into custody, arrested, detained, or made to feel they are being detained or aren’t allowed to leave, they must be read their Miranda rights, letting them know they have the right to stay silent. Anything they say in this situation before they are read their rights is not admissible in court.

What Might Happen if Your Child Talks to the Police

If your child talks to the police, with or without you present, anything that your child says could be used against them in court. The outcome of this could be very serious, leading to your child facing the following consequences:

  • Getting removed from your home by child and family services
  • Being deemed an unruly child or a juvenile delinquent
  • Having their case tried in adult court

When your child chooses to talk to the police, anything they say is considered a voluntary statement – not one that was coerced. Because of this, statements of that nature can be used in a juvenile case.

What Should I Do if the Police Want to Question My Child?

Helping your son or daughter understand that they are not required to answer questions by the police is vitally important if an officer approaches them. The first thing they should do is call you and keep quiet until you or an attorney can get involved. They can identify themselves, but should reveal nothing more. Once you learn the police would like to talk to your child, do the following:

  • Remind your son or daughter not to say anything until further notice
  • Tell the police you do not permit them to question your child
  • Call an attorney experienced in juvenile law who can tell you what steps to take next

Were Your Child’s Rights Violated?

If the police arrest your son or daughter and won’t let them call you or talk to an attorney, you can take action against the police department by filing a complaint. If your child is arrested, detained, or held in custody and is not read their Miranda rights, you can file a lawsuit. In any of these situations, you should retain an attorney experienced in juvenile law who can help your family.

Getting questioned by the police is always a serious matter that can have devastating consequences. Protect your child’s rights and their future by working with an attorney experienced in juvenile matters. Daniel M. Margolis is ready to make sure your child is protected. Contact The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis today at (216) 533-9533 to learn more.

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