What Parents Should Know about Juvenile Interrogations in New Jersey

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Feb 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

No one could fault a parent for teaching their child to listen to the police, but there's a dark truth every parent needs to know. The truth is this: sometimes, your kid shouldn't talk to the police. At the very least, your child should understand they have rights, and if they're questioned by the police over some alleged wrongdoing, they should know what to say and how to act.

We'd like to assume the authorities have our kids' best interests at heart, but there's too much at stake to fully rely on this assumption. Even if your child does something wrong, like underage drinking or possessing a fake ID, they deserve a fighting chance to defend themselves.

Are They Under Arrest?

If a child is not under arrest, they do not have to answer police questions. This doesn't mean a child should be rude or flippant, but they should politely ask the officer if they are in custody. If the answer is no, then they are free to go.

If the child is under arrest, they need to understand how important it is that they ask for an attorney and their parents before they answer questions. It's in the child's best interest to provide contact information for their parent or guardian. If they fail to do so, the police can continue questioning them. While it can be a child's first instinct to avoid giving this info because they don't want to get in more trouble with their parents, they'll only worsen the situation.

What about Miranda Rights?

In New Jersey, the authorities are required to read a child their Miranda Rights, but there's no rule that says the minor needs to waive their rights or even understand them before questioning can start. Instead, NJ law requires only that the questioning be fair. If a child does waive their Miranda Rights, the court could decide the questioning was fair based on the child's:

  • Age
  • Mental capability
  • Education level
  • Background

Importantly, there are caveats. For example, incriminating statements made by a child under the age of 14 makes aren't always admissible in court.

Contact a NJ Juvenile Defense Lawyer Today

Juvenile offenses are serious, and if your kid is accused of, or charged with, a crime in New Jersey, you need to take legal action immediately. Juvenile offenses go on a criminal record, which will continue to impact your child into adulthood. Criminal records are accessible to the public and will provide long-term disadvantages for career, housing, financing, and educational opportunities. If your kid has been questioned by the police, you should contact a juvenile defense attorney in New Jersey right away. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience defending juveniles from criminal charges in New Jersey. To learn more, contact the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team online today, or call 888-535-3683.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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