Can a Police Officer Talk to My Child Without My Consent?
If your child is accused of committing a crime, it is likely that a police officer will respond and investigate the allegation. As part of that investigation, a police officer may want to gather more information by interviewing your child. Usually, the police officer is seeking a confession. A detective may call the parents and try to schedule a meeting, or a detective may show up at the child’s school without warning or asking the parent’s permission. This is unsettling for many parents, and they often wonder if it is legal.
If a child has not been arrested or detained for an offense, a police officer may talk to the child freely, and without the parent’s permission. Before the officer starts asking questions, he should advise the child that he is not obligated to answer any questions and he can leave at any time.
Children often feel intimidated by police, so they agree to talk and end up providing information that can be used against them in the future.
When an Attorney Represents Your Child
An experienced attorney can help prevent your child from feeling pressured into giving information. It is important to consult with an attorney immediately after learning that someone has accused your child of committing a crime. If the child has an attorney representing him/her, the police must speak to the attorney to request a meeting. With an attorney in the balance, the police cannot go to the school unannounced for an interview.
An attorney will find out from the child what happened, then the child and the attorney can decide if agreeing to a police interview is in the child’s best interest. If it is, the attorney can accompany the child to the interview and advise him/her not to answer certain questions if the answers are not in the child’s best interest.
At Sparks Law Firm, we are routinely retained to represent individuals during the “investigative stage” of a case. In doing so, we have been able to prevent those individuals from unnecessarily incriminating themselves in a police interview. This puts our team at an advantage moving forward. We have an attorney specialized in juvenile cases with the expertise to help you and your child through the investigative stage and beyond.