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Juvenile Law- Minors in Custody

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Whenever a minor is taken into police custody, an attorney familiar with juvenile law should be with them. Attorney Craig Cunningham is very familiar with juvenile law.

The statements given to law enforcement officials were given outside the presence of the minor Defendant's parent and without counsel by any adult interested in the minor's welfare, and such statements were therefore involuntary. Upon information and belief, the minor's mother was never contacted regarding her son's detention or custody. A statement is only voluntary where: "Under the totality of the circumstances, it is given freely, voluntarily and without compulsion. A statement is involuntary if the defendant's will was overcome at the time he confessed. F actors to be considered when making a determination of voluntariness include age, education, and intelligence of the accused, the length of the detention and the duration of the questioning, whether the accused was advised of his constitutional rights, and whether the accused was subject to any physical mistreatment. " People v. House, 141 Ill.2d323, 566 N.E.2d 259, 283 (1990).

"In cases involving Juveniles, additional factors must be considered such as the time [of day] of the questioning and the presence of a parent or adult concerned about the juvenile's welfare." In re J.J.C., 294 Ill. App.2d 227, 235, 689 N.E.2d 1172. 1178(1998); People v. Lee, 355 Ill. App. 3d 659, 781 N.E.2d 310 (1st dist. 2002). In this case, the officers violated Section 5-6(2) of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, which states that officers must make an immediate attempt to notify the parents and the officer must notify without unnecessary delay take the minor to the nearest juvenile officer. "[C]onduct by the law enforcement personnel that frustrates parents' attempt s to confer with their child prior to or during questioning is a significant factor in determining where a confession was given voluntarily In Re Lashun H. 284 Ill. App. 3d. 545,553, 672 N.E.2f 331, 336 (1996); See People v. Griffin, 763 N.E.2d 880, 372 Ill. App. 3d 538 (1st dist. 2002).

If parents indicate interests by their presence, they should be allowed to confer with the e minor before questioning and should be allowed to be present during questioning. See In re J.O. 231 Ill. App. 3f 853; 596 N.E.2d 1285 (1992); Lashun H. 284 Ill. App. 3d 545; People v. Montanez, 273 Ill. App. 3d 844, 652 N.e.2d 1271 (1995); Lee, supra."[W]hen a juvenile's parents are present, request to confer with their child and are effectively refused access to their child, the presumption arises that the juvenile's will is overborne." J.J.C., 294 Ill. App. 3d 1t 237.

The presence of a youth officer does not, per se, make a statement by a minor voluntary. LaShun H., 284 Ill. App. 3d at 557. Whether a youth officer acts affirmatively to protect the minor's rights is also a factor in determining the voluntariness of a minor's statement. J.J.C. 294, Ill. App. 3d at 237.
The Exclusionary Rule prohibits the introduction into evidence of the direct and indirect products of unreasonable searches and seizures. Mappv. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961);

The arrest of petitioner was made without authority of a valid search or arrest warrant. Payton v. N.Y., 455 U.S. 573, (1980) .Further thePolice Department arrested the minor without a warrant and did not allow a parent to be present or a juvenile officer as required in 705 ILCS 405/5-405(2). In People v.Robinson 301 Ill. App. 3d 634, 704 N.E.2d 968, 235 Ill. Dec. 395 (2nd App.1998), the Second District specifically articulated factors of determining whether a statement made by a juvenile is voluntary or not.

In the case In re LL 295 Il. App. 3d 594, 600, 230 Ill Dec. 430, 693 N.E.2d 908 the court stated that the state has the burden of showing that the confession of a juvenile was made knowingly and intelligently. Further, the Court articulates that in cases involving juveniles, additional factors must be considered to determine whether r a confession is voluntary. A major factor is the time of the questioning and the presence of a parent or other adult concerned about the juvenile's welfare. Id. At 908. The failure to have present an adult or parent demonstratively interested in the juvenile's welfare, prior to or during questioning, is material to determining the voluntariness of the minor's statement. Id. At 908.

In the instant case, the minor was interrogated relentlessly. The minor is terrorized into this confession, and the Police refused to allow the minor's parents to be present.The Second Circuit court of Appeals also states in People v.Robinson 301 Ill. App. 3d 634, 704 N.E.2d 968, 235 Ill. Dec. 395 (2nd App.1998), that the factors to consider when determining voluntariness include the "age, education, and intelligence of the accused, the duration of question ing and whether the accused was informed of his constitutional rights or subjected to any physical punishment. Other relevant aspects to be considered including the previous experience of the accused with the criminal justice system, the emotional characteristics of the accused and whether the confession was induced by police deception." Id. At 972.

In the instant case, the minor had never before had any experience with any law enforcement agency in Illinois. Subsequent to the minor's arrest he was searched, photographed, fingerprinted and otherwise processed, questioned, and exhibited by the police. During the arrest and subsequent detention, the police and prosecution became aware of the existence of physical evidence, witnesses, and other evidence all the direct and indirect fruits of the arrest and detention, which connect petitioner with a crime.

During the arrest and subsequent detention verbal and written statements, as well as gestural signals were elicited from the minor, the detention having provided the police with the forum for interrogation. As a result of the arrest, the prosecution has acquired knowledge that it intends to employ in the prosecution of this cause in violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution. The interrogation was done as a violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. U.S. Constitution, Amendment IV; V; 725 ILCS 5/108-3.

The interrogation also violated 705 ILCS 405/5-405(2) of the Illinois Juvenile Court Act.
Probable cause for interrogation is determined by the totality of the circumstances, Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 233, reh'g denied, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 76 L.Ed.2d 527, 54 U.S.L.W. 2230 (1983); People v. Tisler, 103 Il.2d 226, 469 N.E.2d 147 (1984), and the complaint for the warrant, taken as a whole, must adequately establish that a crime was committed and "that there was a fair probability that evidence of a crime would be found in a particular place." Gates, 462 U.S. at 238; People v. Sellers, 237 Ill. App.3d 545, 548, 604 N.E2d 993, 995 (3d Dist. 1992).

Because the interrogation of the Defendant without proper Miranda warnings, in this case does not establish any basis for the magistrate's finding of probable cause in that insufficiencies existed, and the search was not based on probable cause, Alabama v. White, 469 U.S. 325 (1990); People v. Messamore, 245 Ill. App.3d 627, 615 N.E.2d 762 (3d Dist. 1993), the warrant less search of the vehicle is invalid. Because of the above conduct, any and all communications, confessions, statements, admissions, or tests by the minor , the petitioner were involuntarily given in violation of his constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution of the United States and his rights under the Constitution of the Sate of Illinois, and must be suppressed. Through this an interrogation of a minor must be done with an interest towards justice and protection of the minor. This must be true whether the minor is a defendant or not.

Craig Cunningham is a published author in the areas of family and criminal law.  In addition to being an attorney, he is also a professor and will educate his clients regarding their case and the law. Clients are able to reach him through several outlets such as, email, cell phone, office line and fax. He will never keep his clients in the dark. With any new developments, he will definitely keep clients informed. For more information please visit at www.cunninghamlaw.cc

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