Mystery Writers Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
collapse collapse
* Search



* User Info
 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Who's Online
  • Dot Guests: 42
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Rights of a minor (or anyone) brought into the police station  (Read 2342 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Kat

  • Hack
  • ***
  • Karma: 18
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 138

My 14 y.o. MC is believed to have killed an infant and disposed of the body. Her parents have "lawyered her up". She is snatched off the street and brought in for questioning under the guise of material witness (claims she saw the abductor) or protective custody (there have been death threats)Since she's not under arrest, doesn't know she can leave at any time, do they have to call her attorney--not question her--until he or his parents are present? Is there a loophole I can use?

Thanks!

Logged

JIM DOHERTY

  • Wordsmith
  • *****
  • Karma: 95
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3,138
    • http://www.deadlyserious.com/JimDoherty
Re: Rights of a minor (or anyone) brought into the police station
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2010, 04:08:59 AM »

Kat,

Re your question below:

My 14 y.o. MC is believed to have killed an infant and disposed of the body. Her parents have "lawyered her up". She is snatched off the street and brought in for questioning under the guise of material witness (claims she saw the abductor) or protective custody (there have been death threats)Since she's not under arrest, doesn't know she can leave at any time, do they have to call her attorney--not question her--until he or his parents are present? Is there a loophole I can use?

Some of this is going to depend on the local jurisdiction, and the procedures of the individual department.

That said, if it's been made clear that she's a suspect, and she's let the police know that she's got legal representation, than they can't question her without a lawyer present.

The use of the "material witness" is to detain someone, not suspected of the crime itself, but who the police reasonably believe to have material information on a crime that s/he did not commit.  Unlike a criminal suspect, a material witness doesn't have the right to remain silent.  That right, springing from the 5th Amendments, protects people from being forced to testify against themselves.  For that reason, if a person has material information on a crime, s/he can be held to insure his/her giving testimony at a trial or other court proceeding.  YOu can read the Federal Standard for detaining material witnesses here:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/3144.html

If the police were using the Material Witness procedure not to elicit information from an innocent, but uncooperative, witness, but rather as a pretext for getting around the 5th Amendment, particularly if the suspect was a minor, I very much doubt such a ploy would fly in any U.S. Court.  In fact, it's unlikely that, in such a circumstance, they'd be able to get a judge to sign off on the material witness warrant.  And even if they did, they would have obtained the warrant in bad faith and under false pretences.

Check any additional laws in your state re material witnesses, to see if they rougly coincide with this federal standard to be sure of your ground.  If anything, they might be more stringent that the federal standard.

I haven't been posting here lately.  Every time I check in, it takes hours, and I mean that literally, to get through the accumulated messages, and I just don't have the time.  The site seems to download so slowly, and I usually don't have the time to wait.

I notice that there've been some changes in addition to the ones already in place when I last spent some quality time here.  Are they making the site too difficult to navigate?   And am I the only one experiencing this problem?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 04:24:23 AM by JIM DOHERTY »
Logged

Kat

  • Hack
  • ***
  • Karma: 18
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 138
Re: Rights of a minor (or anyone) brought into the police station
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 11:23:56 AM »

First, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I'm printing off your reply and going back to rethink and revise. ;D

As to your question about difficulty. Yes, it is very difficult for me also, I made a shortcut on my desktop to go straight to the message board. Today I clicked on "new replies to my post" and it said there were none. To double check I went to Home and found my little box and it said there was one comment. I almost missed it. I really liked the old system better.

Again, thank you for the answer, I really appreciate it. Kat
Logged

Lance Charnes

  • Ink Slinger
  • ****
  • Karma: 32
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 354
    • Wombat Group
Re: Rights of a minor (or anyone) brought into the police station
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 09:45:45 PM »

Also depending on the jurisdiction, the police may be prohibited from questioning a minor without a parent, legal guardian, lawyer or the local equivalent to Child Protective Services present.
Logged
DOHA 12
On Kindle and Nook
Paperback: Amazon | B&N

Twitter | Facebook

Kat

  • Hack
  • ***
  • Karma: 18
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 138
Re: Rights of a minor (or anyone) brought into the police station
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 09:47:30 PM »

Thanks, Lance!
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 


* Calendar
October 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 [25] 26 27 28 29 30
31

No calendar events were found.

Paying the bills...

* Forum Staff
admin Bob Mueller
Administrator
admin MWF Bot
Administrator
gmod MysteryAdmin
Global Moderator
gmod laurihart
Global Moderator

Page created in 0.042 seconds with 41 queries.

SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal