Protecting The Rights Of Juveniles Charged With Crimes

Even if your child is a good kid who gets the highest grades in school, their brain is still maturing. When asked by adults, "What were you thinking?" a teenager's answer is often, "I wasn't." They are not lying to you.

Teenagers and young adults are like Ferraris without headlights or brakes. They are good at accelerating very quickly, not very good at seeing very far down the road, and terrible at stopping once they realize they are about to crash. Neuroscience shows that children are not like adults when it comes to decision-making.

The Rights Of Young People Facing Interrogation

In California, the police do not have to contact a parent prior to talking to or interrogating a juvenile. The police can contact your child at school, on the street, at work or at your home.

The police may ask you to bring your child to them to "sort things out." Miranda warnings are complex and many juveniles do not fully appreciate the rights they are giving up by talking to the police.

Whether Miranda warnings are even required is also complex, and the police exploit "non-custodial" interrogation to avoid having to provide your child with any warning that what they say will be used against them in court.

Beginning in 2018, California law requires the police to provide an attorney before questioning any child under arrest and who is under the age of 16. When the legislature recognizes the vulnerability of children under investigation, so should you. Never allow your child to be questioned without consulting an attorney first.

Sometimes the full spectrum of legal consequences is beyond the youthful lark or a peer-pressured dare. Contact Gerritt A. Rutgers Attorney at Law right away for answers and solutions if your child has been arrested for suspicion of committing a crime.

Does This Ruin My Teenager's Chances Of Getting Into A Good College?

While a student's ability to get into a good college is primarily reliant on their SAT scores and quality of their essays, colleges have an obligation to protect their student campus population.

Some college admissions offices screen for an applicant's background for history of a violent crime or sex crime. A student's criminal background can be an obstacle for housing as well as for receiving federal financial aid.

Understanding which crimes can be sealed and which cannot greatly improves future opportunities for young adults. Some crimes count as "strikes" under California's "Three Strikes and You're Out" law and will follow a person for the rest of their lives. Some crimes even authorize children as young as 14 to be transferred to adult court, where they face adult consequences, including long prison sentences.

Gerritt A. Rutgers has been defending juveniles for over 25 years and works with many court-appointed cases. Court-appointed work means Mr. Rutgers' level of legal representation is sharp and relevant. He is in court on a daily basis and knows the system.

As a resident of San Mateo County, Mr. Rutgers is dedicated to his community and preventing juveniles from being held back for mistakes when rehabilitation or counsel are viable options.

Protecting Your Child's Future

For juvenile criminal defense, email us or telephone our office in Redwood City at 650-399-0953 to set up a consultation with an experienced lawyer.