Your teen and the police: what role can you play?
Your child has just been intercepted by the police. He is suspected of having committed a criminal offense. The law allows your involvement with your teen, now and after, if necessary.
Get informed and be present
When a teenager is suspected, he has to go through a multi-step process. He can meet the police on different occasions: when he is intercepted or if there is an interrogation, for example. This can stress him and have consequences for his future.
The law provides that you will be informed of the actions taken or the proceedings instituted against your child. She encourages you to accompany her by involving you at her side.
The case of separated parents
In general, it is the parent with whom the child lives who is contacted by the police.
Recall! A parent who does not have custody of his child retains parental authority. He can therefore participate in making important decisions concerning this child. It is important to keep him informed of the situation.
If the teen is intercepted by the police
In general, parents are notified when their child has been intercepted for a criminal offense. The police contact them even if they decide not to put the young person under arrest and prefer to apply an extrajudicial measure.
An extrajudicial measure can be a simple warning or a referral to a community organization – an alternative justice agency (OJA). In this case, an OJA worker usually contacts the parents to meet them.
If the young person is arrested or detained by the police
When the police arrest or detain a minor, they must inform at least one of the parents as soon as possible . She must tell him for which offense his child was arrested. If necessary, it must also specify the place where they hold the teenager .
If the parents can not be reached: the authorities must notify another adult that the young person knows.
If the teen is questioned by the police
A police officer may want to interview a teenager suspected of committing a crime. The young person then has the right to contact a lawyer and one of his parents before speaking to this police officer.
The parent may also be present during meetings with the police. The teen must make the request.
When the parents are not available, the teenager has the right to consult an adult of his choice. This person must not be involved in the alleged offense.
If the young person receives a summons from the police
At least one parent is informed when a youth has to appear before a judge . The police give the youth a document that can be a promise to appear, a subpoena or a summons. The parent receives a copy of this document.
If the police impose conditions on the teenager
A police officer can release a teenager by ordering him to submit to certain conditions. Conditions are guidelines to follow. For example, the police officer could impose a curfew.
These conditions are found on the document given to the teenager by the police officer during his arrest: the promise to appear . One of the parents receives a copy of this document.
If the young person does not respect the conditions, he may be charged with new offenses (often referred to as a “break” condition).