Juveniles & Miranda Warnings

The New York State legislature will be considering a new law that would require the police to give juveniles a clearer warning of their rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer.

Most people know about “Miranda” warnings, at least from watching movies and television: “you have the right to remain silent….” But State Senator Michael Gianaris says that only 10% of juveniles invoke their rights after hearing these warnings, and he wants what the police recite to juveniles to be more understandable. He proposes that the warnings read as follows:

“You have the right to remain silent. That means, you do not have to say anything. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to get help from a lawyer. If you cannot pay a lawyer, the court will get you one for free. You have the right to stop this interview at any time.”

The law now gives juveniles extra protection when being questioned by the police. The questioning has to happen in a separate room in the precinct, and the juvenile must have a parent present during questioning. This proposed law would give juveniles further protection when they are faced with a possible police interrogation.