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Can a police officer question a minor without parents being present at school in a territory surrounded by the State of Washingt

Waitsburg, WA |

An officer questioned 2 students that by forth party hear say may have had something to do with an issue as reporded by the first party that is causing problems for the parties of the second part.

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Attorney answers 3


There are always arguments having to do with an officer asking questions of a minor in regards to a criminal investigation. Most of the time it is viewed as legal, so minor's need to be instructed to ASK FOR A PARENT AND LAWYER whenever there is an officer asking them questions about anything. This way their rights are protected. So say it LOUD AND PROUD, that you want your parent present and an attorney and don't answer questions because you don't know what the officers already know or think they know!!!!



I understand that one minor did inform the officer that he was instructed to not discuss any items with out the parent and the officer insisted and refused to allow contact with the parent to be made or try to reach the parent.

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl


Did he/she also ask for an attorney?


As a matter of best practice, its always best for law enforcement to get parent permission before questioning minors. However, as the other attorney noted, there are plenty of times when its completely legal for law enforcement to question individuals, minor or not, when not in custody.

Providing this general response does not create an attorney client relationship.


Under the recent US Supreme Court case, J.D.B. v. North Carolina (2011), students should receive Miranda warnings (right to remain silent, right to an attorney, etc.) prior to interrogation by law enforcement in a school setting, if there age makes them more susceptible to coercion by authority figures. Even if a Miranda warning was given, the child's age could make intelligent waiver of their Miranda rights impossible. The argument can be made that at the very least parental notification is required prior to questioning a child at school. But there is no requirement regarding the parent's presence at the time of questioning, so advise your children to ask to speak to a lawyer (and their parent/guardian) if a police officer wants to question them at school.

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