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Can detectives or police officers question a minor without a parent present in their own home?

La Grange, KY |

17 year old home alone was questioned by four detectives and they threatened him and searched our home.

Attorney Answers 2


In general, law enforcement have the right to investigate a crime and certainly have the right to speak with a minor relative to their investigation. Some law enforcement officers will contact the parents of a juvenile prior to any questioning. I don't have enough facts to specifically answer your question.

In a historic Supreme Court decision, the Court held:
In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that juveniles accused of crimes in a delinquency proceeding must be afforded many of the same due process rights as adults, such as the right to timely notification of the charges, the right to confront witnesses, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel. The court's opinion was written by Justice Abe Fortas, a noted proponent of children's rights.

Go online and google this decision for additional background. Your question contains several subparts dealing with the 5th amendment right to remain silent and the 4th amendment relating to a possible illegal search and seizure. Additionally, your question involves the 6th amendment right to counsel.

Contact a competent Criminal Defense Attorney in your area for advice.

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..

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Frank Mascagni III

Frank Mascagni III


In KY, the police have the right to question a minor without his parents being notifed nor present. Juveniles have SOME rights contained in the Unitfied Juvenile Code contained in Chapter 600 of the Kentucky Revised Stautes. KRS 610.200 states: ADD NOTESHOW NOTESHIDE NOTES § 610.200. Duties of peace officer. Kentucky Statutes Title 51. UNIFIED JUVENILE CODE Chapter 610. PROCEDURAL MATTERS Current through Chapter 106, Regular Session 2011 § 610.200. Duties of peace officer (1) When a peace officer has taken or received a child into custody on a charge of committing an offense, the officer shall immediately inform the child of his constitutional rights and afford him the protections required thereunder, notify the parent, or if the child is committed, the Department of Juvenile Justice or the cabinet, as appropriate, and if the parent is not available, then a relative, guardian, or person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child, that the child has been taken into custody, give an account of specific charges against the child, including the specific statute alleged to have been violated, and the reasons for taking the child into custody. (2) Unless the child is subject to trial as an adult or unless the nature of the offense or other circumstances are such as to indicate the necessity of retaining the child in custody, the officer shall release the child to the custody of his parent or if the child is committed, the Department of Juvenile Justice or the cabinet, as appropriate; or if the parent is not available, then a relative, guardian, or person exercising custodial control or supervision or other responsible person or agency approved by the court upon the written promise, signed by such person or agency, to bring the child to the court at a stated time or at such time as the court may order. The written promise, accompanied by a written report by the officer, shall be submitted forthwith to the court or court-designated worker and shall detail the reasons for having taken custody of the child, the release of the child, the person to whom the child was released, and the reasons for the release. (3) If the person fails to produce the child as agreed or upon notice from the court, a summons, warrant, or custody order may be issued for the apprehension of the person or of the child, or both. (4) The release of a child pursuant to this section shall not preclude a peace officer from proceeding with a complaint against a child or any other person. (5) Unless the child is subject to trial as an adult, if the child is not released, the peace officer shall contact the court-designated worker who may: (a) Release the child to his parents; (b) Release the child to such other persons or organizations as are authorized by law; (c) Release the child to either of the above subject to stated conditions; or (d) Except as provided in subsection (6) of this section, authorize the peace officer to retain custody of the child for an additional period not to exceed twelve (12) hours during which the peace officer may transport the child to a secure juvenile detention facility, a juvenile holding facility, or a nonsecure facility. If the child is retained in custody, the court-designated worker shall give notice to the child's parents or person exercising custodial control or supervision of the fact that the child is being retained in custody. (6) (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, no child ten (10) years of age or under shall be taken to or placed in a juvenile detention facility. (b) Any child ten (10) years of age or under who has been charged with the commission of a capital offense or with an offense designated as a Class A or Class B felony may be taken to or placed in a secure juvenile detention facility or youth alternative center when there is no available less restrictive alternative. History. Effective: July 15, 2002 Amended 2002 Ky. Acts ch. 263, §4 , effective July 15, 2002. -- Amend


Damn so much about the law is not black and white or yes or no. And I hate it when someone tells me, "It depends." But it does depend. Yes, usually police can questions a minor, but 4 DETECTIVES alone with him without a parents or an attorney? That seems a little extreme unless it is a very serious felony. Kid needs an attorney. That was a good question. I could tell you were thinking the same thing as I was. . . 4 Detectives? 4? No parents? Did they even have a warrant? If not, who gave the police permission to come in? Were they invited in or did they invite theirselves in. These things need to be discussed with an attorney THOROUGHLY.

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