November 8, 2017 By Paul Wallin

California Extends Miranda Rights to Children 15 and Under

Your child is accused of an incident at school. The police come to the school and take your child to the police station. You are not informed that your child is being questioned by police. Authorities use interrogation tactics to get your child to confess to committing a crime he or she may not have actually committed.

Unfortunately, this nightmare scenario happens way too often in California. That is why California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law that helps minors 15 and under understand their Miranda rights and hopefully puts an end to this troublesome police practice.

What are Miranda Rights?

“You have the right to remain silent…” You’ve probably heard this phrase before at some point, whether it was because you were arrested or because it was spoken on TV. This phrase is the start of your Miranda rights.

Miranda rights are constitutional rights that everyone has in the U.S. If you are arrested for suspicion of committing a crime, police officers are required to advise you of your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney present prior to you being questioned about a possible crime.

But what good are Miranda rights if you don’t understand them?

Miranda Rights for Children 15 and Under (SB 395)

California law allows police to take a minor into temporary custody as long as they have reasonable cause to believe the minor committed a crime or violated a juvenile court order. Police are required to inform the minor of his or her Miranda rights when they take the minor into custody.

However, minors 15 years old and younger do not have the ability to understand their Miranda rights. According to Senate Bill 395, studies show that children 15 and under do not have the ability to fully comprehend how their choices could negatively affect them. Additionally, children have little understanding of the criminal justice system.

Due to these circumstances, police are able to take advantage of minors. They take children from their schools without notifying their parents and bring them to the police station to accuse them of committing crimes. Pressure tactics used by police often cause young people to incriminate themselves.

That is why California lawmakers passed SB 395 into law. Under this law, any person 15 years old or younger must be given a consultation with legal counsel in person, over the phone or by video conference before being asked to waive his or her Miranda rights.

Courts are also required to consider whether authorities complied with this law when debating the admissibility of a youth’s statement made during or after a custodial interrogation.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

Your child has rights. If your child has been accused of a crime, you should speak to an experienced juvenile criminal defense attorney who can make sure your child’s rights are protected. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully defending clients facing criminal charges. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich juvenile defense attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.

Call our office now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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