If you are a juvenile arrested for a crime, or you are the parent of a juvenile involved in a criminal case, things can seem overwhelming and frightening. However, what you say and do can have a significant impact on the case and the type of punishments faced. Here’s what not to do in a juvenile crime case.
Don’t Speak to Media
Depending on the crime in question, there’s a possibility that there may be some attention from the media. Legally, the media cannot publish the name of the juvenile involved in a criminal case. However, if the juvenile is over the age of 18 (but being tried as a juvenile), he/she can be identified in the media. In these cases, it’s best to avoid talking to the media. Otherwise, you risk giving them identifying information, or clues that can identify the juvenile.
Don’t Post on Social Media
In today’s day and age, social media is a big part of the lives of teenagers and young adults. A juvenile may post about their arrest, the crime, or their ordeal to get support from friends. But, this is undoubtedly a mistake. Law enforcement officers have the ability to pull records from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and can use anything that has been published — be it photos or comments — and use it as evidence against the juvenile in trial. If you are a juvenile who has been arrested, steer clear of social media altogether while your case is pending. If you’re a parent, you may want to consider removing your child’s access to social media until the case is closed.
Don’t Say Anything Without a Lawyer
Even juveniles have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent under the United States Constitution. Therefore, invoke those rights and say nothing to law enforcement (apart from identifying yourself) without a lawyer present. In fact, most juvenile attorneys will prevent their underage clients from giving any sort of statement at all, simply for their own protection.
If you are a juvenile who has been charged with a crime or the parent of a juvenile who has been arrested, don’t wait. Contact J. Christopher Llinas today for a consultation to discuss your options and how you can move forward with your case. Call now at (443) 235-5793.