My friends son was arrested today from home without anyone there and without anyone knowing. Can the police do this without the consent of a parent? The parents also called about him being arrested and they were not told a reason for his arrest. I would like to know about the rights minors have.
Criminal Defense Attorney
A minor does have a right to have his parent or guardian present during questioning by the police. But the police do not need to ask for permission from the parents to arrest him. They only need to have probable cause that a crime was committed by him.
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Yes. Imagine the problems that would arise if parental permission (or notice) was required for an arrest: "Hey, we've got enough evidence to arrest Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but he's a juvenile and we can't find his parents..."
Juveniles have most of the rights that adults have: police must provide adequate notice of charges, notification of both the parents and the child of the juvenile's right to counsel, opportunity for confrontation and cross- examination at the hearings, and adequate safeguards against self- incrimination. There is a decent wikipedia article on the 1967 US Supreme Court case In Re Gault (about a 15 year old boy from Gila County, AZ who was arrested for making an obscene phone call and sentenced to a correctional home for 6 years: his conviction was overturned).
Like adults, juveniles can waive their rights to have parents or an attorney present if they are sufficiently mature. If a confession is obtained, the court will look very closely at the juvenile's age and circumstances as well as the arrest and the length and nature of the police interrogation to make sure the waiver is knowing and voluntary. The 17 year old boy convicted for the Arizona buddist temple slayings 20 years ago had his conviction overturned last year on the basis that his 5 am confession after 10 hours of interrogation was involuntary and his Miranda warnings were insuffcient.
The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice.