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I have a question, I witnessed a 16 1/2 year old return a stolen car. I brought the teen to the parents and asked the teen to write a staement. Did I need to mirandize? It was in the presents of the parents. he pretty much wrote in the statement that he stole the car.
 

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MSP75 said:
You should mirandize the teen in front of his parents. Then there is no question that the rights were protected.
I would even go a bit further. If there was a transport and time involved for the kid to blurt out something incriminating gauge his intellegence (grade level, etc...) and past involvement with the criminal justice system, Mirandize and then bring him to the parents to give him the rights all over again and get the statment on paper. Thats an ideal situation, but ask yourself how often do things go by the book all the time.

It would be nice to have interested parents/guardians/adults most of the time, but there are the situations where you have the youths with the lengthy BOP, no parental involvement, others that don't give a rats a**. Establish knowledge of the CJ system and ability to communicate, Mirandize and go with it.
 

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A friend of mine who is a detective with a large city police dept. insists that you do not have to mirandize anyone unless they are a suspect and in custody. However, I'd love to see him explain that in front of a judge. He talks a big story, but it's simply that. Bottom line, if he's a suspect and he's not free to leave then mirandize or else. Anyone who says differently hasn't had their ass handed to them yet...yet.
 

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MallPolice said:
A friend of mine who is a detective with a large city police dept. insists that you do not have to mirandize anyone unless they are a suspect and in custody. However, I'd love to see him explain that in front of a judge. He talks a big story, but it's simply that. Bottom line, if he's a suspect and he's not free to leave then mirandize or else. Anyone who says differently hasn't had their ass handed to them yet...yet.
Learn what "custody" means... you will find it means "not free to leave." You owe your "friend" an apology. Custody and Interrogation = Miranda. Don't forget your recorder!!!

However, if he is "free to leave" don't mirandize him, cops who mirandize when the shouldn't only makes miranda more difficult, it creates an expectation that suspects don't have.
 

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I agree with testtaker. Unless he is not free to leave AND you are interrogating him, you don't need Miranda. Just because you take him into custody and transport him home to his parents, doesn't mean you have to give Miranda. Besides, you can't interrogate him anyway without his parents being there, so Miranda is no good in this situation (during the transport). Let the kid banter on in the cruiser. If you are not asking questions, then he can blurt out anything and its good. People tend to go overboard with Miranda. Ever heard of excited utterances???? Use them.
They are good all day long.
 

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Custody + Questioning = Miranda. You can give Miranda in "an overabundance of caution" any time you talk to anyone.

In your case it doesn't sound like the kid was in custody but in court he will claim he was under arrest. Worst case scenario is that the statement gets suppressed.

When you are dealing with juveniles you usually need an interested adult and you need to give an opportunity to consult with the adult if the adult or kid ask for it. If the juvenile is very sophisticated they can waive Miranda without an adult. Juveniles under 14 must have the adult present no matter how sophisticated they are.

You have to explain Miranda to the interested adult and the juvenile suspect and make sure they understand it before you can have a "knowing and intelligent" waiver.

Don't worry about district court judges and clerks in Massachusetts who come up with crazy reasons why you should have or shouldn't have given Miranda. It's always the same - if the suspect objectively feels or should feel they are under arrest and you want to ask them questions (or the functional equivalent) then you need to impart Miranda first.

You should also record statements because juries will be given an instruction that non-recorded statements are automatically suspect in Massachusetts.

Also, statements made by a suspect aren't "excited utterances", they are admissions and confessions (a different exception to the hearsay rule).

Excited utterances made in the heat of the moment by witnesses and victims are probably still good here but things might change very soon. See Crawford Vs. Washington (2004)
 

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offlan said:
I have a question, I witnessed a 16 1/2 year old return a stolen car. I brought the teen to the parents and asked the teen to write a staement. Did I need to mirandize? It was in the presents of the parents. he pretty much wrote in the statement that he stole the car.
Simple answer YES!!!
When you saw him with the stolen car at the least you would charge him RSG and I would gather you had him in custody for RSG.
 
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