If a minor faces a criminal charge, Texas authorities must generally wait until an adult is present before questioning that individual. However, there are scenarios in which authorities can question a minor without a parent or guardian present. Let’s take a look at what you should know about your child’s rights while interacting with the police.
A minor has the right to remain silent
Anyone who is in police custody has the right to remain silent. Generally speaking, an individual must clearly state that he or she is choosing to invoke this right. Otherwise, police can use anything that he or she says as justification to charge a person with a crime or to convict a defendant of a crime.
A minor has the right to ask for counsel
Those taken into custody have the right to ask for counsel to be present while police are questioning them. Once they make this request, questioning must cease until legal counsel arrives. If it continues, a judge may rule anything that your child says as inadmissible. A juvenile crime attorney may be able to help protect your son or daughter’s rights during the legal process.
When can police question minors without a parent present?
An officer generally has the right to seek information from a minor without a parent present whenever doing so might prevent another crime from occurring. For example, your son or daughter could be asked about their role in a robbery if doing so might prevent another one from taking place in the near future. Officers are also generally allowed to take actions that might otherwise violate the law if doing so would protect their safety or the safety of others.
If your child is in legal trouble, it is generally a good idea to hire an attorney as quickly as possible. He or she may be able to take steps to get a charge dropped, negotiate a favorable plea or otherwise obtain a favorable outcome in a case.