People get questioned by the police. When something goes wrong, the police department and its numerous investigators are asked to figure out what happened. Many times, the police have gathered extensive amounts of information from sources other than witnesses before they even begin to question people. That means they are coming into the interrogation armed with a certain amount of knowledge. Thus, anything that is said to the contrary of what they think they already know could, and often will be, made to look suspicious.
The one thing that I would like everybody to know about juvenile interrogations is this: THEY ARE SERIOUS.
The situation is serious. I say this because it has been my experience that the public seems to think that all juveniles charged with crimes simply get a slap on the wrist. That’s it – just a little slap on the wrist and then it is back to life as usual. Normally, the charge is dropped to a lesser crime, the juvenile does some community service or some type of class, and that’s it. This notion is simply incorrect. Some of my biggest cases with the most serious charges have involved juvenile defendants. If the charges are severe, the juvenile could be transferred to criminal court to be prosecuted as an adult.
Whether you are the juvenile being questioned, or the parent of the interrogated juvenile, understand that this is a serious situation with very serious implications. If your answers are not what the police want to hear, you may be made to look like you are being dishonest or trying to cover something up. You may become a suspect – even if you weren’t initially.
For these reasons and many more, I want to stress the gravity of being interrogated by the police at any time, especially when the person being interrogated is a juvenile. Don’t be quick to waive rights. Ask for a parent or guardian to be present. Ask for an attorney to be present. State directly that you will remain silent until your parent or guardian and attorney are present.
Call (865) 685-4780 to schedule a case assessment.