My son was questioned by law enforcement and cited for a misdemeanor at school. He was read the Miranda rights which he waived.

My barely 13-year old son was questioned by an officer in the presence of the school principal at the school. Neither the police nor the school principal called the parents until they had a written "confession" from my son. The police department is saying that under the law they don't have to notify the parents unless the juvenile is detained at the police station or juvenile hall. The school office though, I believe, qualifies as a place of detention, because my son had no way to leave. I believe my son's civil rights were violated because he did not understand the meaning of waiving his rights under the 4th Amendment. Also, I think that the school has a duty to protect the rights of a student and should have called the parents immediately. Were my son's or the parents' violated?

Novato, CA -

Attorney Answers (1)

Okorie Okorocha

Okorie Okorocha

Civil Rights Attorney - Studio City, CA
Answered

A minor may validly waive his or her Miranda rights. The test is whether, under all the circumstances, including age, intelligence, and education, the minor had the ability to comprehend the meaning and effect of a confession. People v Lara (1967) 67 C2d 365, 385, 62 CR 586; In re John S. (1988) 199 CA3d 441, 445, 245 CR 17.

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