Are School Representatives or Police Required to Read Students Miranda Warnings?
Most people know that the police are required to advise any suspect they arrest of their Miranda rights. However, legal questions may arise when the person in question is a student and / or juvenile. Keep reading to find out how this is handled, then contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for your free legal consultation.
The Basics of the Miranda Warning
First, let us cover what exactly the Miranda warning is. It is in place to help defendants protect their Fifth Amendment right – the right to be free of self-incrimination. When the police do not give proper warning, or violate the requirements of Miranda, then anything the defendant says may not be admissible in court.
In order for Miranda to be relevant, the suspect must be in custody (which essentially means that they must reasonably believe they are not free to leave) and must be questioned by the police. Anyone who has been in the above situation and not been read the Miranda is encouraged to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Understanding How Miranda Applies to Juveniles
The court actually places more scrutiny on interrogations of minors than they do of adults. They will look to ensure that Miranda rights were read and respected, but they will also look to ensure that the police did not physically or psychologically coerce the accused. The judge should look to ensure that the juvenile was not just read Miranda, but actually understand them and understood how serious their position was.
The Rules About Questioning Students at School
It is important to note that when a juvenile is questioned at school, they are typically considered to be in custody. As a result, a police officer who questions a student at school generally is required to advise said student that they have the right to remain silent. If it is the school representative that does the questioning, then they are only required to give the students a Miranda warning if said representative is questioning the student at the request of law enforcement.
Determining if a Student Voluntarily Waived their Miranda Rights
If your child is accused of a serious crime and has talked to police, do not assume that there are no options available to you. Remember that the judge must be convinced that the child actually understood their Miranda rights. The judge will consider your child’s age, education level, intelligence, emotional health at the time of the questioning, prior experience with the criminal justice system, how long questioning when on, when it happened, and whether or not their was a parent present.
The bottom line is that you should never assume you or your child is out of options. You should instead talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you through this difficult process. You should talk to The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254.