Can a 16 year old be questioned without an adult present?

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Can a 16 year old be questioned without an adult present?

My nephew was questioned without his guardian present and being held at juvenile detention are they allowed to do that The one time that I was present at the initial questioning they had already start without me and when I asked for a Lawyer I was told I don’t need one I feel I was denied access to legal help for my nephew

Asked on January 9, 2017 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The police can legally question a minor without a parent or guardian present if the minor is not in custody. Typically, this occurs when an officer has a reasonable belief that the minor has violated the law. In such case, the officer can detain the minor in order to conduct an investigation during which time the police are not required to let the minor call their parents. However, if the minor is in custody, then they do have have the right to call their parents'guardian and have their them present during any questioning. As a general rule, custody means arrest. And if a child is questioned at school it has successfully been argued that this constitutes "custody". So being in a juvenile detention center would seem to count. This means that in such a situation, since the minor's Miranda rights were implicated, they had a right to speak with their parents/guardian and have them present. At this point, you should consult with a criminal law attorney who can best advise you further.


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