Do the police lie to juvenile suspects?

A police interrogation often takes place to get someone to self-incriminate. Some defendants find themselves tied up in the New York criminal justice system because the police lied during the interrogation process. Regrettably, seeking the truth may not be the guiding principle behind the juvenile suspect interrogation. Law enforcement may focus on a young person they suspect of a crime and then coerce evidence. Lying may help this dubious cause.

Police interrogations and untruths

When interrogating a juvenile, the police may find it easier to get the young person to self-incriminate. The juvenile may be overly trusting of authority figures or lack the experience necessary to understand how dire the situation is. Several famous cases involve criminal defense strategies made difficult when the police procured a false confession from an underage suspect.

Some may wonder about the constitutionality of lying to acquire a confession. In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that it is legal for police to lie to get an admission of guilt. The decision opened the floodgates for police officers to use deceptive practices during an interview. The deception may guide a suspect into a difficult legal position.

Juveniles and their rights

Juveniles, like adults, have rights. They have the right to remain silent and the right to request an attorney to be by their side during questioning. Juveniles have constitutional protections against entrapment and illegal searches. Unfortunately, many juveniles and adults are not familiar with their rights and do not evoke them.

A juvenile may assume that the police interrogation serves to help him or her in some way. A young person may not realize that the interrogation’s purpose may focus solely on getting a statement to support a conviction.

An attorney may review a case to determine if the police violated a person’s civil rights. A lawyer may petition the court to exclude illegally obtained evidence.