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CRM 1-499

118. Arresting Juveniles

Whenever a juvenile is arrested for an act of juvenile delinquency, he must immediately be advised of his legal rights. 18 U.S.C.A. § 5033 (West 1985). The Attorney General (United States Attorney) shall be notified. Id. The juvenile's parents, guardian or custodian must also be immediately notified of his arrest as well as his rights and of the nature of the alleged offense. This requirement is not invoked when a juvenile is arrested and placed into administrative detention, but rather is initiated by the juvenile's placement into custody subsequent to the filing of an information alleging delinquent conduct. United States v. Juvenile Male, 74 F.3d 526, 530 (4th Cir. 1996). Notification made after a statement has been given, or made without spelling out the juvenile's right to notify a responsible adult cannot satisfy the statutory mandate. United States v. Nash, 620 F. Supp. 1439, 1442-43 (S.D.N.Y. 1985).

If the juvenile is an alien, a reasonable effort must be made to reach his parents, and if not feasible, prompt notice to his country's Consulate should be made. United States v. Doe, 862 F. 2d 776, 780 (9th Cir. 1988).

The juvenile must immediately be taken before a magistrate if a magistrate is available. 18 U.S.C.A. § 5033 (West 1985). If a magistrate is not immediately available, the juvenile cannot be detained for longer than a reasonable period of time. Id. It has been held that a seven to nine-hour delay before presenting an arrested juvenile before a magistrate who was available on a weekday morning was unreasonable and statements by the juvenile made during the delay were required to be suppressed. Nash, 620 F. Supp. at 1444. Again, as in the advisement of legal rights' requirement, the right to be taken before a magistrate forthwith does not begin until the juvenile is placed into custody upon the filing of an information alleging delinquent conduct. Juvenile Male, 74 F.3d at 531.

Regarding cases of juvenile delinquency, the United States Attorney can proceed in different ways. The case can be referred to state authorities, attempts to adjudicate the juvenile as a delinquent can be made, or the United States Attorney can move to transfer the juvenile for criminal prosecution as an adult.