Do Juveniles Have Constitutional Rights?

The rights afforded to all individuals under the constitution are different for minors in juvenile court than adults in criminal court. For example, juveniles do not have the right to face a jury of their peers. Only judges oversee juvenile cases. Juveniles also do not have a right to bail. They are typically released to their parents or guardians prior to their arraignment.

There are, however, a number of constitutional rights that juveniles do have in Orange County. Here are some of the protected rights that all juveniles have:

  • Right to a phone call: When a minor is taken into custody, he or she has the right to make a phone call. Typically, the minor will call a parent or guardian who in turn can reach out to an Orange County juvenile crime defense attorney.
  • Right to an attorney: It is a mistake to take the situation lightly by failing to contact a juvenile defense attorney. When a juvenile cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed.
  • Probable cause for search: Before the juvenile is even arrested, the constitution requires probable cause before police officers conduct a search and arrest.
  • Right to notice of charges: Juveniles have the right to know what charges he or she faces.
  • Right to examine witnesses: Juvenile adjudications are not the same as formal criminal trials, but minors have the right to question witnesses.
  • Right against self-incrimination: The Fifth Amendment allows juveniles to avoid making self-incriminating statements.
  • Right to have charges proved beyond a reasonable doubt: Juveniles, like adults, are presumed innocent until found guilty. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile is guilty of committing the crime.

If your child is facing criminal charges, it is critical that you contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer who will ensure that his or her rights are protected every step of the way. The consequences of a juvenile conviction can have a long-term impact on your child’s life.

David A. Stein is skilled criminal defense attorney with a track record of obtaining very successful outcomes for his clients. If you have been accused of a crime or need help with any criminal matter, contact our law offices today at (949) 445-0040 for a consultation or email us confidentially online here.