Yakima, WA asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Washington

Q: Is it legal for a police officer to talk and question my 11yr old son about a family friend,without a parents consent.

The school didn't let us know,that they called him out of class and allowed a police officer to ask my son,how does he know a guy named Ben? My son said it's my dad's friend. Then he asked my son,where does he live? My son said next door to us. and my son said he asked another question but he can't remember. And nobody had our consent to allow the school to allow anyone to speak to my son,nor did the officer have our consent to talk to my son. I'm upset and i want to kno if that's legal,I'm not at all happy with the school or the police.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman

A: Yes, police may question a child who may have witnessed or been the victim of a crime= just as the police may question an adult. The police do not need permission from a parent or a court first.

But if a parent is present then the parent may refuse to allow the child to be interviewed. A lawyer that the parent has retained may also refuse an interview on a child’s behalf.

Finally, children themselves may refuse to be questioned and ask for their parents or lawyer. If a child does so, then the poic should stop talking to them.

If things seems serious, I would talk with a criminal lawyer and also have a discussion with your child about asking for you when the police question the child.

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