Recently, Attorney David Redfearn, of Longwell Lawyers, won a not guilty verdict in a trial involving a juvenile client. David Redfearn is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in both criminal trial and criminal appellate law. After the trial, David wanted to share some of the critical issues that are common in juvenile cases, many of which start in the school setting, of which all parents should be aware.
"Five Tips to Protect Your Children’s Rights When Police Come to School Asking Questions”
Did you know that it's crucial to learn and exercise your rights to protect you and your kids in school?
1. Hiring an experienced lawyer is one way to do it, but it's not the only way. Educate yourself about your rights and then stand up for them. It's essential to avoid regretting your decisions later!
2. Don't assume that the police are competent, professional, diligent, thorough, or unbiased. While some are, some are not. Remember, you don't get to choose who investigates your case.
3. Did you know that the law allows police to deceive you during questioning? This is called "misrepresentation" or "strategic deception," and it's a common tactic used by law enforcement. As a result, it's usually not a good idea to talk to them without consulting an experienced lawyer first. This applies to your children as well, so make sure they know their rights and how to protect themselves.
4. Florida law requires police officers to try to contact parents before questioning a child in custody, but many police officers ignore this rule without facing consequences, and the child’s statements can be used against them in court, even if the police don’t follow the rules. If you receive a call from school or police requesting to interview your child, remember the above tips and consult an experienced lawyer to help you make an informed decision.
5. While Florida has recently passed laws that allow parents to require written consent before officials (like teachers, police, or government investigators) video or voice record children at school, some exceptions apply to law enforcement investigations. Some terms in the new law are also in a legal gray zone, so it's important to consult a lawyer to learn about your rights and how to use them to protect your family. Remember, the police can show up at school unannounced, pull your child from class, and question them, and use their statements against them in court.
It's essential to educate yourself and your children about your rights and how to protect them. Check out tips 1 to 5 above for more information. Do not hesitate to contact Longwell Lawyers for assistance. Stay informed, stay safe!