When a juvenile is arrested in Illinois, the whole experience can be quite scary and confusing. They are typically read their Miranda rights, but after that, anything goes. Unfortunately, this often includes the police lying to the juvenile. This is why it’s important for juvenile suspects to understand the dangers that lurk in interrogation rooms and know what and what not to do.
Why and how do police officers lie to juvenile suspects?
Usually, a police officer can lie to a juvenile in order to get them to confess to a crime. They may say things like, “If you tell us what happened, we can go easy on you” or “Your friend has already told us everything and we know you did it too.” Other times, they will use scare tactics like telling the juvenile that if they don’t confess they will be facing more serious charges.
In some cases, the police may also lie about the evidence they have against the juvenile. They might say that there is DNA evidence or video footage linking the juvenile to the crime even if there is none.
All of these tactics are typically designed to get the juvenile to lower their defenses.
How can juvenile suspects protect themselves?
The best way for a juvenile to protect themselves is to remain silent. Once they have been read their Miranda rights, they should ask for a criminal defense lawyer and not say anything else until their lawyer is present.
It’s also important for parents or guardians to educate their children about their rights if they are ever arrested. This way, the child will know what to do if they ever find themselves in that situation.
Always remember that if a juvenile confesses to a crime they didn’t commit, they can get charged and convicted of that crime. This can have lifelong consequences, including being placed on the sex offender registry or spending time in juvenile detention. A false confession can also lead to the police investigating and charging innocent people. This not only takes up valuable resources, but it can also ruin the lives of those who are falsely accused.