Throughout our criminal justice system it is well known that we all have the right to remain silent when confronted by law enforcement. In fact, officers have to tell us as much by way of the ‘Miranda Warning’. In 1966 the United States Supreme Court held in Miranda v. Arizona that the admission of an elicited incriminating statement by a suspect not informed of these rights violates the Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, through the incorporation of these rights into state law. But what about juveniles? Are they mentally and emotionally capable of understanding these rights/ warnings? Well the King County Sheriff’s Office thinks maybe not, and is thus trying to make it easier for kids to understand their rights when they get arrested.
King County Sheriff’s Deputies will now provide juveniles a simpler version of the Miranda Warning. Deputies will now tell juveniles “You have the right to remain silent, which means that you don’t have to say anything,” and “It’s OK if you don’t want to talk to me.” Which is different from the ‘adult’ version, which is: “You have the right to remain silent” and “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
The newly adopted Miranda warning to be read to juveniles is as follows:
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.
1. Do you understand? (If yes, then continue to number 2)
2. Do you want to have a lawyer? (If no, then continue to number 3)
3. Do you want to talk with me? (If yes, then proceed with questioning)
So far, there is no word from Seattle police about whether they plan to also adopt the simplified version of the Miranda when dealing with juveniles.
Whenever cited for a crime it is imperative to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.