Can a minor be questioned by police without their parents or legal counsel? 34 Answers as of July 08, 2013

could a minor be questioned without a parent or legal counsel present? My son was and I do not think it is legal.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Your son needs to consult with an attorney. If the police interrogated your son without following the proper protocol and in a manner that may have violated his rights, it may be grounds to file a suppression motion to strike any of his alleged statements from being admitted and used against him. I'd recommend you retain an attorney on your son's behalf or that your son request a court-appointed attorney if he cannot afford to retain one.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/2/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
This is a very grey area. The answer depends on many factors: what was the nature of the questioning, was there imminent danger to others, was a school official present, was it mere general public protection questions or interrogation?
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 10/28/2011
Law Office of Ernest T. Biando, LLC | Ernest Biando
No. There has to be an "interested adult" present. Any questions and answers I would move to be suppressed.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 10/28/2011
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
Yes he can. Police have a right to ask questions just like anybody. There's no law that says you have to answer them though. If a minor is taken into custody (which for the most part occurs after arrest with probable cause that the minor was involved in criminality) he will be afforded the same rights as anyone else and will then include notification to the young person's parents, guardian or other person legally responsible for him.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/10/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Unfortunately regardless of what you think the courts permit it. However whether the minor's statement is admissible is dependent on the circumstances. Your attorney and you need one can advise you further.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/10/2011
    Fabian & Associates, Inc.
    Fabian & Associates, Inc. | Stephen G. Fabian, Jr.
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Greco Law Office
    Greco Law Office | Dominic Greco
    Depends on who questioned him? He can be questioned by school.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    This depends upon the age and maturity of the minor. Usually a child of age 10 or older could be questioned without a parent, but younger would be questionable. However, the maturity of the child could vary the age.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Depending on his age - if under 14 the police cannot question him until you are present - if 14 or older, the police are required to make a good faith effort to contact you prior to questioning him.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Police question minors all the time withut a parent or guardian being present. Defense attorneys have long since disagreed with this being allowed, but the Courts have ruled it can be done.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    It would depend on what he was questioned about. Typically, the police will seek parental permission before questioning a minor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    No.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Usually not, but that can vary according to the child's age and other circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    It depends on the circumstances. You did not mention if your child was a witness or a target of an investigation. The police obviously do not need to notify and wait for a parent if there are exigent circumstances (and it's very easy for them to always say this is the case.) If there is a possibility that evidence will be destroyed or lost if they do not speak to the minor at that moment then they are allowed to do so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Rudolph A. Serra, Attorney
    Rudolph A. Serra, Attorney | Rudolph A. Serra
    Your question is "can a minor be questioned?" or "could a minor be questioned?". The answer to both questions is "Yes." The police break the law all the time - so of course they "can" and they "could." The question you want to ask is whether it is proper and legal for the police to question a minor without their parent. The answer to that question depends on the circumstances including whether your son was under arrest or was detained for questioning. If your son was questioned illegally, and you challenge the legality of the questioning, what you win is suppression of any statement he made. It does not mean charges against him (or anyone else) necessarily will be dismissed. So the answer to your question, as well as the remedies that may be available, depends on more detailed information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Absolutely. If the minor is a witness to an offense, the police can question him at length without permission. If the minor is a suspect in an offense, then he must have his rights read to him but he can be questioned. If the cops have a warrantor otherwise have cause to arrest the minor, he is taken into custody, taken to a judge where he is admonished and the parents are notified, and then the police can question him.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    The police can speak to a minor without the permission or knowledge of the parents. The minor would not be entitled to legal counsel unless he was being interrogated while in police custody. If your child has been questioned, speak with an attorney and review the reports of such interviews to see if any Miranda or other violations occur. Keep in mind that not you nor your minor children ever have to speak to the police. If the police come to your home and ask to speak to your child, you can always politely decline and ask them to leave. If the police spot your children in public alone or in school, he is fair game for them to ask him to speak with them. It is up to him in that situation to tell them that he doesn't want to speak with them or at least have a parent or lawyer present.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. There is no right to have a parent present when questioned by the police or school officials or anyone. There is nothing preventing a parent from instructing their children to refuse to talk to the police or school officials or loss-prevention or security guards or mall cops unless/until their parents are there. Anything the child says to these people, including written statements can and will be used against them. The issue of whether the police have to Mirandize juveniles in custodial situations was before the Supreme Court in J.D.P. v. North Carolina. They held a child's age is a factor in the Miranda determination. The issue of whether the police violate a child's Fourth Amendment rights when they seize him and interrogate him was before the Supreme Court in Green v. Camretta. It was decided to be moot. Remember: Unless you are a lost six year old, the police are NOT your friend. The police are not there to help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Depends on how old. If they are seventeen they can be questioned but younger than that they should get a parent or guardian.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. It is legal. They are required to contact a parent. But they can begin questioning him.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    Parents do not necessarily have to be present to question a minor. However the minor still needs to be advised of his right not to give a statement, and if that was not done, the statements may not be allowed into evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Yes, they can.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Police must notify a person of their Miranda rights before taking them into custody or interrogating them. The same rules apply when the situation involves the questioning of minors. However, the police must take a person's age into account when determining whether the circumstances of a case merit a Miranda notification. Because of their relative immaturity and lack of experience, children cannot be viewed simply as miniature adults. A minors' comprehension of their situation may differ from that of adults their understanding of when a questioning constitutes custody will also differ. Minors may experience more acquiescence to authority, and so may require Miranda notifications in situations that would not trigger the Miranda requirement for adults. Therefore, the police may question a minor without parents or lawyer present if it is not a custody situation or if knowing the age and maturity and experience in deciding if the minor understood his rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    Anyone can be questioned by the police. The question is can the police then use what they learn against that individual. If an officer is questioning someone in custody or under an appearance of custody then said officer has to read that person his rights. An officer should call a juvenile's parents before questioning them. However, I am not sure it would be suppressed if other protocol was followed regarding Miranda.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Yes, as long as the minor has been advised of his rights.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Sure. Minors can legally drive a car and if stopped, have to speak with an officer. Other situations and ages may vary.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Yes. In CA, a minor can be questioned w/o parents there. If by cops, he has Miranda rights if he is detained. He cshould ask for an atty and then remeain silent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry Yes, this can occur. An older rule would have prevented answers to questions from being admitted into evidence. Now, it is a matter of the coerciveness of the situation and a number of factors. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    No. he is not over 18 and cannot be questioned. You need to hire an attorney and suppress these statements. They were not voluntary.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police can do anything they want. The statements many be suppressed at a hearing if they are considered to be involuntary, coerced, or the product of improper police conduct that violates his constitutional rights. Parents should talk to their children and advise them not to talk to the police no matter what they promise or threaten. they should have an attorney's card in their wallet and ask that the questioning stop and the lawyer be present during any interrogation. They should also be warned about drinking and driving, using drugs, especially in public or in vehicles, the age of consent for girls, shoplifting, and getting into fights or verbal arguments. Young people need a lot of guidance because they are often bad decision makers.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. There is no requirement that police contact parents before interrogating a minor.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/28/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney