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Does a school have the right to search a 14 year old girl in new york

Livonia, NY |

i am a 14 year old girl that was suspected of selling drugs which my school had the cops get involved but the assistant principle was the one that searched me. my dad wants to know where my rights are they are taking me to court and never read me my rights at all. is that legal?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Unfortunately the Supreme Court has allowed the search of bags by school officials and its usually legal. Searches of persons are different but in a school its still a lesser standard than if you were just walking down the street. However, once something illegal is found and the police are involved the should call your parents immediately and not take any statements from you. Feel free to email me at or call me at 516-587-9786 if you have any other questions. You should definitely retain a lawyer to try to suppress any statements or even the search.

  2. The Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure restrictions apply in public schools, but, the Courts give school officials more leeway to conduct searches in school. Courts balance a student’s privacy rights against the school’s interest in safety and student discipline. Courts have said that school officials can search students in public schools if there is a reasonable suspicion to search. They do not need probable cause. The police do not need to read you your rights to arrest you. However, if they do not read you your rights, then it is an additional reason to possibly keep statements made by you to the polce out of the trial.

    Legal disclaimer: All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website

  3. I agree with my colleagues. However, you did not say what exactly was searched. Was it your bags or your body, or both? What was the gender of the school official who searched you? Were the police present when the school official searched you? Were your parents present? All of these answers help refine which, if any, rights were violated.

    Any answers given here do not indicate the existence of an attorney-client relationship between you and me, or between you and my firm. In order for such a relationship to develop, I must be admitted to practice in your jurisdiction, you and I must countersign a retainer agreement, you must pay my fee, and we must speak in confidence. If all of these conditions are not met, I am essentially answering a hypothetical for the purposes of discourse.

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