Recent Case Law – Juvenile Delinquency

The First Department just reversed a Family Court’s ruling which denied suppression of a gun found in a juvenile’s shoe. In Matter of Jamal S., the Appellate Division held that the police search of a 15 year old which resulted in the discovery of a gun found in his shoe was unreasonable. At the precinct the police learned that the individual was only 15 years old. He had been arrested only for disorderly conduct. Disorderly Conduct is not a crime and the Family Court Act does not allow the police to arrest a juvenile for this without a warrant. The police could have held him only in temporary detention, where a full- fledged search is not authorized. It is important to know that the law makes certain distinctions between the treatment of juveniles and adults when it involves arrests and searches.