Can the police interrogate a 4 year old child without the permision of the parents? 38 Answers as of May 29, 2013

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Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
If the child witnessed an event the police are investigating and has the capacity to relate what he or she saw the police would probably ask for permission of the parents before interrogating the child.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
Based on the way you asked the question, it would seem they already have.

Then the question will be can they use it and with what effect. If they have not yet interviewed, the child you are not required to consent.

Under allegations of molestation or abuse, the parent refusal may be overruled by concern for the safety of the child.

That results in removal of the child and subsequent interview without parent.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Office of Richard Southard
Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
It depends on the circumstances (i.e. was someone's safety in jeopardy, or was it an emergency of some sort) but typically they do get parental consent first. I doubt they would "interrogate" any 4 year old.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/15/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
The police do not need permission to interrogate anyone even a 4 year old.? Lawyers feel the law should be otherwise.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/15/2012
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
They do not need parental permission to question a child but there is often a question about the child's understanding of "what is true". If the child is the alleged victim of an offense, the police obviously have the right to question the child.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/15/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Under some conditions this may be possible.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Absolutely not.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Not usually.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Jennifer L. Gottschalk, Esq. | Jennifer Gottschalk
    No. But there is a serious question anyone about the competency of the child to be interviewed/questioned.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
    In most jurisdictions before the police can interrogate a minor (generally someone under the age of 18), there has to be an adult present who is there for the minor's best interests. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if the minor is determined to be competent to waive that right to have an adult present on his behalf.? I doubt any court would determine that a 4 year old is competent to waive that right. Anything that they solicited from the child as a result of this interrogation would probably be inadmissible at trial.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    John P Yetter | John Yetter
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    NO THEY SHOULD NOT. However, if they did the issue would be how admissible would a four year old statements be (against himself). If he was questioned as a witness then I don't see the harm although it clearly would have been proper for a parent to be present.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Depends on the case - if its child abuse or sexual abuse, especially if a family member is the suspect, then yes - if the child is the accused, then no.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    Yes. They can try. If the kid says no, they better back away.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. There is nothing under Minnesota law that requires a law enforcement officer to notify or seek permission of a parent before questioning a child.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/13/2012
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