Miranda Rights for Juveniles

Posted by Keith Hall | Sep 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

We've all heard the Miranda Rights read off by police officers on TV shows or in Hollywood movies.  They usually read them off when they are arresting the criminal, and they sound like this:

1.  You have the right to remain silent.

2.  Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.

3.  You have the right to have an attorney present.

4.  If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

However, researchers has shown that juveniles hardly understand their rights, when officers read them Miranda warning in legalese. Also, younger juveniles are more likely to waive their rights and confess than older teens. (In one study, more than twice the juveniles under age 15 confessed compared to teens over 15.)

This is particularly bothersome when it comes to false confessions. One experimental study group found that 75% of falsely accused young adults in a simulation. easily gave false confessions.

For this reason, the King County Sheriff has recently a new version of Miranda for juveniles who are being questioned.

1. You have the right to remain silent, which means that you don't have to say anything.

2. It's OK if you don't want to talk to me.

3. If you do want to talk to me, I can tell the juvenile court judge or adult court judge and
Probation Officer what you tell me.

4. You have the right to talk to a free lawyer right now. That free lawyer works for you
and is available at any time – even late at night. That lawyer does not tell anyone
what you tell them. That free lawyer helps you decide if it's a good idea to answer
questions. That free lawyer can be with you if you want to talk with me.

5. If you start to answer my questions, you can change your mind and stop at any time.
I won't ask you any more questions.

It is hoped that juveniles being questioned will better understand these rights, in their new form.

About the Author

Keith Hall

Keith is our firm's lead criminal defense attorney.

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