Statements Taken From Juveniles
A juvenile's waiver of Miranda rights will be suspect if given
advice of a parent or adult guardian. A juvenile has both a right
In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 32-42 (1979), and a privilege
self-incrimination, Id. at 42-55, in juvenile delinquency
A juvenile may waive his or her Fifth Amendment rights and consent
interrogation. Fare v. Michael C., 442 U.S. 707 (1979).
determination whether a juvenile's waiver is voluntary and knowing
is one to be
resolved on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the
Id. The court must determine not only that the statements
coerced or suggested, but also that they were not the products of
rights or of adolescent fantasy, fright, or despair. In re
U.S. at 55. Among the factors which are considered are the
experience, education, background, and intelligence, whether he has
to understand the warning given to him, the nature of his Fifth
and the consequences of waiving them. Fare v. Michael C.,
442 U.S. at
725. For applications of the totality of the circumstances
juveniles, see United States v. White Bear, 668 F.2d
409 (8th Cir.
1982); United States v. Palmer, 604 F.2d 64 (10th Cir.
1979); West v.
United States, 399 F.2d 467 (5th Cir. 1968).|
Since confessions by juveniles are subject to closer scrutiny
of adults, Miranda warnings are probably an essential
requirement for voluntariness. The presence of a parent or
guardian is not
required for a voluntary waiver, although it is a factor to be
least one court has found a waiver prior to notification to the
guardian of the juvenile to be invalId. See
United States v.
Nash, 620 F. Supp. 1439, 1443 (S.D.N.Y. 1985).
In addition to voluntariness, the courts also have considered
requirement of prompt presentment in connection with the
confessions. Title 18 U.S.C. § 5033 provides, in pertinent
The juvenile shall be taken before a magistrate forthwith. In
shall the juvenile be detained for longer than a reasonable period
of time before
being brought before a magistrate.
Apparently by analogy to the McNabb/Mallory rule for adults,
have held inadmissible confessions obtained during a delay in
violation of this provision. In deciding when this provision has
some courts have focused on the "forthwith" language and others on
"reasonable period of time" language. One district court has read
language as a literal requirement that, when there is a magistrate
juvenile be taken there immediately. United States v. Nash,
620 F. Supp.
1439, 1443 (S.D.N.Y. 1985). On this basis, the court held
unreasonable a delay
between a 10:15 a.m. arrest and arrival at the magistrate at 5:15
p.m. for a 7:00
p.m. presentment, during part of which the defendant was
interviewed at the FBI
office. Id. at 1444.
On the other hand, the Second Circuit held a delay between a
arrest and a 3:00 p.m. presentment to be reasonable under the
where the period included an interview with the Assistant United
in part because there was a valid investigatory purpose to the
United States v. Smith, 574 F.2d 707, 710 (2d Cir. 1978).
Circuit has held that a valid waiver of Miranda rights also
a waiver of prompt presentment rights. United States v. Indian
Boy X, 565
F.2d 585, 591 (9th Cir. 1978). Because of the varying approaches
to this issue,
it is essential to consult the law of your circuit.
Statements by a juvenile at and in connection with a transfer
not be used against him or her. Smith, supra at 711;
States v. Spruillle, 544 F.2d 303 (7th Cir. 1976).
[cited in Criminal Resource Manual 48]