5 Mistakes Parents Make When the Police Want to Question Their Minor Child
Teenagers get arrested all of the time. They get held in juvenile detention. They get sent to Criminal Court and tried as adults. Sometimes this happens because they made a mistake. Other times it happens because their name got thrown into something they didn’t do. But in almost every case, a juvenile gets put in jail because their parents agreed to let the police question their child. Here are five reasons why parents make this mistake and how to avoid them:
The police said they will have to arrest him unless he comes in to clear his name
This is why most parents drive their kids to the police station. This is why most parents let detectives interrogate their child for hours. If the police are telling you to bring your son in “to clear some things up,” they are going to arrest him anyway, no matter what he says. If your child says he didn’t do anything, they’ll say he’s lying and arrest him. Usually there is nothing your child can say to keep from getting arrested and charged with a crime. If the police want to talk to him, they already suspect he did it. There’s no way “to clear his name.” That is just something the police tell you to get your child into the interrogation room. Detectives are trained to get confessions, and if that’s what they want, they will get one.
My son already told me he didn’t do anything
Do you remember being sixteen? Did you lie to your parents? Sneak out of the house? Hang around people your parents told you to stay away from? Most teenagers do all of that. And most teenagers would rather tell a police officer they broke the law than tell their mother. Don’t let your child walk into a situation he may not walk out of.
My child isn’t 18 yet, so what’s the harm?
There are a lot of situations where your minor child can be sent to Criminal Court and tried as an adult. Fourteen-year-olds can be tried as adults. It happens all of the time. And usually it starts because the parents signed away their child’s rights and let the police scare them into saying exactly what they wanted them to say.
My son’s friends did something wrong, but he didn’t have anything to do with it
A lot of children go to jail for a long time because of something their friends did. It usually happens when a teenager is hanging out with older kids, just trying to fit in. All of the sudden, those older kids pull over and rob somebody. And when those “friends” get arrested, they will blame it your child. And if you bring your son to the police station to tell the truth and clear his name, the detectives will have questions he can’t answer: “Why didn’t you call the police right away? You knew what they were up to didn’t you? You saw the gun, right? They said you planned this whole thing. . .” And now your teenager is looking at twelve years in prison for hanging out with the wrong kids.
I’ve always told my kids that the truth will set them free
It won’t. The truth will get them arrested. The truth will get them charged as an adult. And because most interrogations aren’t recorded, the truth is what the police say it is. If the police are calling you and asking to speak with your child, don’t make a mistake you can’t fix. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney.