Chester, Pennsylvania (PRWEB) February 19, 2014
The law generally recognizes that teenagers aren't responsible enough to be treated like adults. They can't get married, can't vote or enter the military. They can't buy cigarettes or alcohol. But teens, as young as 13, can be tried as adults and if convicted, they can receive stiff adult sentences, up to and including life without the opportunity for parole.
The legal defense team at Latoison Law, a firm that vigorously defends the rights of people accused of a crime, has put together a list of legal rights that apply to teens.
“Many parents have a nagging fear that the phone will ring and a police officer will tell them that their teenager is in custody,” said Enrique Latoison. “And by the time you hang up that telephone, it may be too late for your teenager if he doesn’t know his rights under the law. Teenagers have rights under the law just as adults do.”
“As parents, it is our responsibility to tell our children exactly what they should and should not do when picked up by a law enforcement officer,” Latoison added.
Right #1. Teenagers have to remain silent. If they are juveniles, they must notify their parents.
Right #2. Teenagers have the right to consult an attorney before answering any questions. If they cannot afford an attorney, they have the right to have one appointed for them.
Right #3. Teenagers should know that when a law enforcement officer advises them of their legal rights, that officer is technically making an accusation of guilt. Anything they say after those rights are read can be used against them in court.
Parents must tell their children that if they are advised of their rights by a law enforcement officer or if they are accused of a crime, they should say nothing except their name and address. There is plenty of time to tell law enforcement officials what happened after the parents have learned the facts and received the advice and presence of competent legal counsel. The attorney will tell you when and if making a statement to the authorities is the right thing to do and in your child’s best interest.
Teenagers also need to be alerted not only to the obvious abuses of police power (brutality, threats), but to the more subtle changes of perceived friendliness (“OK, Son, I understand. I’m your friend. Just tell me what happened.”). While most law enforcement officials can be trusted, some cannot. Protect your teenager from these possible abuses of the intent of the law.
For more information, please contact Enrique Latoison at Enrique(at)LatoisonLaw.com.
Managing Partner and founder of Latoison Law, Enrique Latoison, Esq. represents individuals, families, businesses and working professionals, in all of their legal needs.
Mr. Latoison earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University, and is known for his ability to win cases. Mr. Latoison has the ability to think like the jury and to make complex matters understandable. For more information, please visit http://www.introublewiththelaw.com.