Juveniles and Miranda Rights
Made prominent by film and television, Miranda Rights is not just a passage recited by arresting officers because it is iconic. It actually marks that an interrogation has officially started. So if it is not recited properly and appropriately, there may be serious repercussions to the case.
If juveniles are arrested, they are not exempted to the reading of the Miranda Rights. However, certain measures must be taken for the welfare of the accused and everyone involved.
In Las Vegas, criminal defense attorneys make sure that the reading of Miranda Rights is adhering to the age of the defendant and the surrounding law.
What is Miranda Rights?
The Miranda Rights are composed of warnings that are spoken by an arresting officer to the accused when he is taken into custody. Contrary to popular belief that one can escape if the Miranda Rights is not stated correctly, it is read to ensure that all of the actions and statements of the defendant are admissible in a court trial. Otherwise, all declarations of the defendant will be deemed unacceptable during trial.
The Miranda Rights are as follows:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”
Juveniles and Miranda Rights in history
Before the twentieth century, trials involving juveniles were not so different from an adult’s trial. It was only during the Industrialization Era that the court had considered a child’s welfare during court proceedings.
In 1967, juvenile welfare was further solidified through the court decision called In Re Gault. Here, the Miranda Rights had been ordered to be given for juveniles too. Moreover, juveniles were also granted the right to notice, the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the privilege against self-incrimination.
The parents were also more involved as they can give counsel and they must be fully informed about the litigation. Since then, the juvenile was also given the right to have an attorney by side all the time during the hearings.
The responsibility of an officer
The job of a police officer relating to Miranda Rights does not end with its reading, especially when the accused is a juvenile.
If the accused is a juvenile, an officer will have to make the best effort so that the parents or guardians are present or are aware that the minor is in custody. Furthermore, the parents should hear the charge and the Miranda Rights itself.
A police officer should make the reading of Miranda Rights clear and in a language that the juvenile understands. If the juvenile uses his right to remain silent, any coercion should be stopped immediately, and if a request of an attorney has been made, it should be arranged accordingly.
Before any instances of interrogation, the arresting officer should fully and orally read the Miranda Rights to a juvenile. He should also be sensitive to a juvenile’s mental state because they should not be treated as small adults, but as what they are: children and adolescents. The power of authority or scare tactics should not be used to make juveniles confess out of their wills.
If you, or someone you know, are entangled on a juvenile case in Las Vegas, do not hesitate to seek the aid of a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer. He will surely help you understand more than just your Miranda Rights!