Jonesboro, AR asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Arkansas

Q: If a 16 year old is arrested and we ask for a lawyer 3 times but the police kept asking questions.

What do we do now we told the public defender and he said wait, we asked for him be moved to juvenile he said wait so I don't know who the public defender is working for cause it doesn't seem like it is for us

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: It is absolutely crucial to insist on your right to legal representation and to refrain from answering any further questions without a lawyer present. The right to legal representation is a fundamental right protected by the U.S Constitution.

In this situation, it is advisable to document the specifics of what transpired during the arrest — including the denial of the request for an attorney. Having a detailed account can be beneficial; note down the time, place, names of the officers involved, and the exact series of events to the best of your ability.

Furthermore, if you believe that the public defender is not adequately representing your interests, you have the option to express your concerns to the public defender directly, articulating that you feel your rights have been violated and insist on a robust defense. If the issues persist, you might consider hiring a private attorney, if possible, or request a different public defender, articulating your reasons to the court.

Remember to consistently assert your rights and seek legal advice from a professional who is fully aligned with your interests. It might be beneficial to consult with another attorney for a second opinion on how to proceed given the circumstances of the arrest. Ensure that the 16-year-old does not make any statements to the police in the absence of an attorney to protect his legal rights.

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