When your kids step out of the house and into the world, there are a million things that can go wrong. As a parent, it's natural for you to worry. Parents try their best to prepare their kids for some of life's worst-case scenarios but many fail to address one nightmarish situation: what to do if they get arrested. Interacting with law enforcement can be stressful for kids, often prompting them to panic. Discussing this topic with your kids can help them stay calm in the face of this type of adversity and make decisions that will put them in the best position to come home. Below are three pieces of advice to give your minor children if they ever find themselves in police custody:
- Understand your Miranda Rights. Police officers must read your kids their Miranda Rights before they can question them about what happened. Kids should be told that they have the right to remain silent, that anything they say can and will be used against them in court, that they have a right to an attorney and that they can be appointed an attorney if they cannot afford one. Make sure your child understands that anything said after hearing these statements waives his or her Miranda rights. It is important to note that if your child is under the age of 16, he or she is entitled to speak to an attorney before speaking to the police or waiving Miranda Rights.
- If you cooperate with the authorities. It’s natural for children (even mature adults) to want to explain themselves with the hope that they can talk themselves out of a bad situation. If your child gives up his or her right to remain silent, then throughout any exchange with law enforcement, it is in your best child's best interest to be respectful and honest. Disrespectful, combative or deceptive behavior can make matters much worse for your child. Police have a great deal of discretion when dealing with minors. How your child reacts to a police officer can make the difference between going home and being brought into Juvenile Hall.
- Use your phone calls wisely. In the unfortunate event that your child is brought to Juvenile Hall, make sure he or she knows to call you. Kids have a right to two phone calls within the first hour of being detained in Juvenile Hall. One call must be to an attorney and the other must go to a relative or guardian. It is crucial that your child feels comfortable calling you in this situation. It is unlikely that they will have an attorney's number memorized, so you will need you to retain an experienced juvenile law attorney as soon as possible.
You can help your child endure an unthinkable situation by making sure he or she knows these three things. If your child is in legal trouble, contact the attorneys at The Law Office of Nic Cocis for skilled and experienced representation. We represent juvenile / minors in the greater Riverside County area, including Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Temecula, Hemet, Corona, Winchester, Riverside, Banning, and all other surrounding areas.