Juvenile Counsel at the Station House

Did you know that children could be interrogated by police without an attorney in Illinois?

While the numbers of children under 18 arrested for murder statewide are small, (e.g., 108 in CY2012), the consequences of their statements to police are profound. Mere¬†accountability (being present at or near scene of incident) can immediately trigger adult court prosecution and lengthy adult sentence. Once they’re charged with murder, they are instantly in adult court with no review and no way to get back to juvenile court.

Current law requires only that a parent be notified (not present) and that a child be given Miranda warnings prior to questioning by police in a homicide investigation. There is no requirement that an attorney be present to advise the minor of the consequences of a statement – especially the consequences of adult court trial and sentencing.

The evidence is clear that many children end up confessing – falsely.

Learn more about juvenile counsel during police interrogation: