PDA

View Full Version : Juveniles in police custody



Casey Karp
09-30-2015, 12:35 AM
Got a bunch of tightly-intertwined questions here. Any thoughts appreciated.

In Missouri, local police have detained a 17-year old male for questioning. He is intelligent (and also Black), but not legally knowledgeable. He needs to find out on what grounds he is being held.


What must the police inform him? Must the police inform his legal guardian? Can the legal guardian and/or a friend with an interest in his well-being intercede with the police to get him released from custody? Would bail need to be posted? Any other assurances? What would be the procedure(s)? And what differences would there be depending on whether the police consider him a suspect, a person of interest, or a material witness?

jclarkdawe
09-30-2015, 02:46 AM
Got a bunch of tightly-intertwined questions here. Any thoughts appreciated.

In Missouri, local police have detained a 17-year old male for questioning. At 17, he's an adult in Missouri. He is intelligent (and also Black), but not legally knowledgeable. He needs to find out on what grounds he is being held.


What must the police inform him? The police need to advise him of why he's being held within in a reasonable time. They will also need to give him his Miranda rights. Must the police inform his legal guardian? No. Can the legal guardian and/or a friend with an interest in his well-being intercede with the police to get him released from custody? Probably not. Would bail need to be posted? I don't know what charge he's being held on or his past history. There's no way to answer this without that information. Any other assurances? What would be the procedure(s)? And what differences would there be depending on whether the police consider him a suspect, a person of interest, or a material witness? If they have him in custody, he's either a suspect or a material witness that the police don't trust. If he's a person of interest, he can leave the police station, as is also the case for most material witnesses.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Rabe
12-04-2015, 09:58 AM
Very rarely do I disagree with JClarkDawe on procedural things...because he's normally right. Here, however, I must disagree with the reading of Miranda. ONLY if there is interrogation/questioning that goes along with it AFTER CUSTODY. Prior to custody (which is a term of art, really) then Miranda does not apply and most officers shouldn't be giving it to a suspect after custody until questioning happens.

Miranda would not need to be necessary for the kid to be told what his charges are/were. Which is usually done by booking officers anyway, rather than arresting officers.

T Robinson
12-05-2015, 12:44 AM
Very rarely do I disagree with JClarkDawe on procedural things...because he's normally right. Here, however, I must disagree with the reading of Miranda. ONLY if there is interrogation/questioning that goes along with it AFTER CUSTODY. Prior to custody (which is a term of art, really) then Miranda does not apply and most officers shouldn't be giving it to a suspect after custody until questioning happens.

Miranda would not need to be necessary for the kid to be told what his charges are/were. Which is usually done by booking officers anyway, rather than arresting officers.

I slightly disagree. Correct by the letter of the law, in that it does not have to be given if no questioning is intended. But OP is talking about an arrest (Ignoring politically correct words like "investigative detention," if you lock someone up so that their movement is curtailed, it is indeed an arrest. Ask any defense attorney.) But, from a cover yourself standpoint, it should be given if someone is locked up. I repeat, if you are locking someone up, there are so many scenarios that could go wrong from a making a case/evidentiary standpoint, it is not funny. Look up case law on spontaneous confessions when no warning was given. It varies as to what happens, depending on many factors, including the skill of the defense attorney and the facts of the case. It hurts nothing to give it if the whole scenario that caused this 17 year old to be locked up is on the up and up.

Suppose the booking office asks the routine questions and something comes out that is incriminating in part or in full. A good defense attorney can probably blow any planned case away on procedural grounds, regardless of guilt.

Jim or one of the other attorneys will tell you if my reasoning is faulty. I do know what I have seen in the past. In making a case against someone, you have to plan for any eventuality. Mirandizing him/her is cheap insurance.

Casey Karp
12-05-2015, 01:48 AM
OK, speaking as the OP, please don't assume an arrest. I was looking, among other things, for scenarios in which he could legitimately say the equivalent of "Y'know, I'm bored, I've told you everything I know, and I'm outta here," and leave--if he knew he could. I.e., not "locked up," more what the police always say in English mysteries: "assisting us with our enquiries".

T., point taken about Mirandizing as a precautionary measure. Makes sense.

That said, I think I've got a level of detail sufficient for my needs--but don't let that stop y'all from batting the idea around for the benefit of others who might have related questions.

T Robinson
12-05-2015, 02:11 AM
Got a bunch of tightly-intertwined questions here. Any thoughts appreciated.

In Missouri, local police have detained a 17-year old male for questioning. He is intelligent (and also Black), but not legally knowledgeable. He needs to find out on what grounds he is being held.


What must the police inform him? Must the police inform his legal guardian? Can the legal guardian and/or a friend with an interest in his well-being intercede with the police to get him released from custody? Would bail need to be posted? Any other assurances? What would be the procedure(s)? And what differences would there be depending on whether the police consider him a suspect, a person of interest, or a material witness?

Bolded and red. That is the key issue you brought up. Jim and I both assumed you had him in a cell (not speaking for him, but I can tell by the way he answered).

jclarkdawe
12-05-2015, 02:34 AM
Mirandizing is a large body of law where you can spin the dial and find somebody who supports you. What detained means is a little less convoluted, but can be argued in several ways. By the way, detained can mean something different than in custody.

Smart cops cover all the bases, because they don't want a defense attorney hassling them about stupid crap like this. I had one cop who moved to a police department around Chicago after being told by his chief to do a new incident report for a third try. First report stated that he saw my client and a whiskey bottle. Notice he forgot to connect the whiskey bottle to my client. Called the chief and explained the problem and the chief said he'd see what the officer could do on a revised report. (I liked the chief, and the kid was going down on some major charges. The under-aged drinking was a minor nuisance.)

On the revised report, my client had a back pack. Since I'm not aware of any law in New Hampshire that says a kid can't have a back pack. Called the chief, he said he'd talk it over with the cop, offered the cop a chance to try again, and the cop moved.

What he was trying to say is that the cop came up on my client as my client removed a bottle of whiskey from his back pack and then took a swig.

Defense attorneys pounce on any weakness. Imagine what I would have done with this if it had been serious. (Kid was facing a hundred dollar fine on this charge. Kid was going to juvenile jail for some other stuff. How serious would you treat a hundred dollar fine?)

Imagine a serious rape case and there's some question about whether the cops gave the suspect Miranda rights. I can tie up the cop and prosecutor for an entire morning even if the cop did it right.

If an individual is not in custody, he can leave at any time. Police use a lot of games to prevent that from happening. Unless you've got a very intelligent and mature 17 year old, he's not going to leave the police station until the police are done. We've had door locks that somehow didn't work, tag team with several officers approaching as the guy is leaving with "one more question," wanting to make sure they've got everything straight, whatever. They use a lot of psychology to make this work, and it does in nearly every case.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Rabe
12-12-2015, 07:41 PM
I slightly disagree. Correct by the letter of the law, in that it does not have to be given if no questioning is intended. But OP is talking about an arrest (Ignoring politically correct words like "investigative detention," if you lock someone up so that their movement is curtailed, it is indeed an arrest. Ask any defense attorney.) But, from a cover yourself standpoint, it should be given if someone is locked up. I repeat, if you are locking someone up, there are so many scenarios that could go wrong from a making a case/evidentiary standpoint, it is not funny. Look up case law on spontaneous confessions when no warning was given. It varies as to what happens, depending on many factors, including the skill of the defense attorney and the facts of the case. It hurts nothing to give it if the whole scenario that caused this 17 year old to be locked up is on the up and up.

Suppose the booking office asks the routine questions and something comes out that is incriminating in part or in full. A good defense attorney can probably blow any planned case away on procedural grounds, regardless of guilt.

Jim or one of the other attorneys will tell you if my reasoning is faulty. I do know what I have seen in the past. In making a case against someone, you have to plan for any eventuality. Mirandizing him/her is cheap insurance.

You may disagree, it is allowed. But doesn't mean you're going to be right! ;)

But seriously, there are flaws in reasoning here. If booking someone and something comes up out of it, the booking officer needs to report it and what the consequences of it being said were, to determine if it was functional equivalent of questioning (such as the case of the religious conversation leading to a confession) or a true spontaneous utterance, which can be used. Such as asking a person's address and the person says "I didn't mean to kill Mr. Body in the study!" Routine booking questions are exempt from the need for Miranda (something I've had to explain to far too many people who decided they were going to 'take the 5th' on their name and address/medical conditions/blah blah blah). However, in asking about the medical questions and the suspect states they have a broken hand - and they are accused of battery - their answers may not be used agains them, but evidence of the broken hand (such as hospital records, etc) may be. It is determined by the purpose of the questioning, how it's asked and what the answer is.

I've, personally, turned over a number of statements to the DA's office whereupon the defense attorney started asking for a deal because the defendant incriminated themselves and the defense couldn't get around it - just by asking booking questions. So no, just because you 'lock someone up' does not mean you should Mirandize them. It means the officers involved need to be knowledgeable about Miranda, it's uses, exceptions and what to do and not do.

I've also seen too many people upset over being convicted when they couldn't be because "they never told me Miranda!" So it's not something that should be automatically done and, since people are still confused about what can and cannot be asked post-Miranda, it can only lead to problems. It could also lead to confusion as to whether or not a person HAS been given Miranda before actual questions are asked regarding the case. In not making it an absolute practice to doing so as the cuffs are ratched on the wrists, it forces those who wish to ask questions to be sure to give Miranda - in both written and recorded oral forms - prior to asking questions (and of course, after making sure the suspect wants to talk to the investigator at all). Which also ensures 'freshness' of the Miranda warning.

And, there are additional warnings for juveniles. So the question becomes...since the state recognizes the actor as an adult in culpability, is he an adult in response to Miranda? Or does the juvenile Miranda need to be given. Would that be done, if necessary, if the juvenile is taken to the adult facility?

You arrest a person and then they aren't interviewed for their case for two weeks, well, that previous Miranda warning may not be considered valid any longer due to the length of time between it being given and the time questioning took place (assuming custodial status hasn't changed, of course).

Where it hurts, in this discussion, is believability. It's done more for dramatic effect to show that a person has been truly 'arrested' in entertainment rather than in reality. You are right that there are many variable factors in the issue, which is why it should be avoided all together.

It's also a non-issue, most cases, because the judge or court will inform the defendant of their rights to Miranda prior to beginning court proceedings, including an arraignment.

T Robinson
12-12-2015, 08:01 PM
You may disagree, it is allowed. But doesn't mean you're going to be right! ;)

But seriously, there are flaws in reasoning here. If booking someone and something comes up out of it, the booking officer needs to report it and what the consequences of it being said were, to determine if it was functional equivalent of questioning (such as the case of the religious conversation leading to a confession) or a true spontaneous utterance, which can be used. Such as asking a person's address and the person says "I didn't mean to kill Mr. Body in the study!" Routine booking questions are exempt from the need for Miranda (something I've had to explain to far too many people who decided they were going to 'take the 5th' on their name and address/medical conditions/blah blah blah). However, in asking about the medical questions and the suspect states they have a broken hand - and they are accused of battery - their answers may not be used agains them, but evidence of the broken hand (such as hospital records, etc) may be. It is determined by the purpose of the questioning, how it's asked and what the answer is.

I've, personally, turned over a number of statements to the DA's office whereupon the defense attorney started asking for a deal because the defendant incriminated themselves and the defense couldn't get around it - just by asking booking questions. So no, just because you 'lock someone up' does not mean you should Mirandize them. It means the officers involved need to be knowledgeable about Miranda, it's uses, exceptions and what to do and not do.

I've also seen too many people upset over being convicted when they couldn't be because "they never told me Miranda!" So it's not something that should be automatically done and, since people are still confused about what can and cannot be asked post-Miranda, it can only lead to problems. It could also lead to confusion as to whether or not a person HAS been given Miranda before actual questions are asked regarding the case. In not making it an absolute practice to doing so as the cuffs are ratched on the wrists, it forces those who wish to ask questions to be sure to give Miranda - in both written and recorded oral forms - prior to asking questions (and of course, after making sure the suspect wants to talk to the investigator at all). Which also ensures 'freshness' of the Miranda warning.

And, there are additional warnings for juveniles. So the question becomes...since the state recognizes the actor as an adult in culpability, is he an adult in response to Miranda? Or does the juvenile Miranda need to be given. Would that be done, if necessary, if the juvenile is taken to the adult facility?

You arrest a person and then they aren't interviewed for their case for two weeks, well, that previous Miranda warning may not be considered valid any longer due to the length of time between it being given and the time questioning took place (assuming custodial status hasn't changed, of course).

Where it hurts, in this discussion, is believability. It's done more for dramatic effect to show that a person has been truly 'arrested' in entertainment rather than in reality. You are right that there are many variable factors in the issue, which is why it should be avoided all together.

It's also a non-issue, most cases, because the judge or court will inform the defendant of their rights to Miranda prior to beginning court proceedings, including an arraignment.

I agree with flaws, which is why I told the OP I was assuming arrest. Then I found out it was not.................not really in his scenario. Casey said there was enough for the story, but in the real world, I agree. Most people never Mirandize, because there is not a reason for it in their minds. I agree about the idiots who think they don't have to say who they are. That just gets them in more trouble.

shakeysix
12-12-2015, 11:14 PM
In small town Kansas the police drop by the house, deliver drunken, angry daughter and ask the parents to meet them down at the station for the Miranda Party. Personal Experience--s6

jclarkdawe
12-13-2015, 05:30 AM
A friend of mine had a nice little DUI case that got tried in front of a jury. Jury came back not guilty, shocking my friend. Talking to the jury later, the jury said they found the defendant not guilty because he hadn't had his Miranda rights read to him.

The defendant was found unconscious and non-reponsive after wrecking his car. Taken to the hospital, he stayed unconscious for quite a few hours. Blood was drawn and tested for blood/alcohol level. Defendant never talked to the police.

As Rabe says, booking statements are an exception to Miranda most of the time. Some police departments Miranda everybody when placed in custody. Some are selective.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Rabe
12-13-2015, 06:23 PM
Wow...the CSI/Quincy effect has hit Miranda now?

How utterly stupid. And why it's important that it be done correctly.

Rabe...