When any person is questioned by the police in the United States, they have the right to be informed of their Miranda rights. Miranda rights are the assertion of your rights under the Fifth Amendment. These rights include having the option to remain silent during questioning, and the right to have an attorney, even if you cannot afford to pay for one yourself.
A person in police custody also has the right to be informed of the consequences of making any self-incriminating statements. This essentially means that they should be explicitly told that anything they say in questioning can be used against them in court.
How are Miranda rights applied to minors in police custody?
Many have advocated for a different application of Miranda rights in regard to minors. This is because minors tend to have a different reaction to authority than adults, and they may misinterpret the magnitude of the consequences of making self-incriminating statements. If the police do not advise minors of their Miranda rights, any information that the minor submits may be dismissed by the courts upon appeal.
Is a juvenile always tried as an adult?
This is a very subjective question in the United States court system. Juvenile courts have a broad discretion when it comes to deciding whether a minor should be tried as a juvenile or as an adult. This decision will be made in relation to the perceived maturity of the defendant and the seriousness of the alleged offense.
If you are a minor and you believe that you have been improperly questioned, or if you believe your child has been inappropriately questioned by the police, it is important to take action and bring this issue to light. An attorney can provide valuable advice and guidance.