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Courts and Crime

Ohio Supreme Court says juveniles are only entitled to lawyers for court proceedings, not police questioning
Ruling based on juvenile arrest case in Cleveland

Kevin Niedermier
Courtesy of The State of Ohio
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Juveniles questioned by police in Ohio are not entitled to have a parent or attorney present. The state Supreme Court ruled today that Ohio law only requires lawyers for kids in criminal cases during court proceedings. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on the case that stemmed from a Cleveland traffic stop.

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When Cleveland police pulled over a 15 year old boy for not having a valid driver’s license, he gave police phony name. Officers arrested him, read him his Miranda rights and took him to the station for questioning. During the interrogation he waived his right to an attorney, and admitted to his role in a robbery. He was convicted, but appealed on the grounds that the confession should not have been used in court because no attorney or parent was present during police questioning.Jill Beeler of the Ohio Public Defenders office is chief counsel for juvenile division. She disappointed by the ruling, and says Ohio’s law should give minors the same right to counsel they have in court.

“This statute in Ohio actually provides children the right to have their parents help them through the court proceedings.  We were asking the court to extend that right to police interrogations.”

Beeler says most parents do not realize their children can be interrogated without them being contacted first to give permission. In a dissent to the high court’s ruling, Chief Justice Maureen O’ Conner said it “offends fundamental notions of due process and fairness, and defies law, logic and common sense.” Beeler says rules requiring counsel for minors during police interrogation varies by state, and even within Ohio.

“Some states do offer additional protections that Ohio currently does not. It also varies at times within Ohio. I think certain police stations have their own policies about contacting parents before questioning their kids. But there’s no uniformity. So it’s left to each jurisdiction to determine have that interrogate minors, children with disabilities.”

Beeler expects the issue to be taken up by the Ohio lawmakers.

Listener Comments:

You make these taxation issues so clear! Do you provide services on tax litigations or IRS audit and appeals? In case you do, I wish your contacts to appear in my directory of tax attorneys. Submission is absolutely free and you will be listed in a category related to your state. For example, look at the section of Ohio tax attorneys I try to provide as many information as possible to facilitate the choice of appropriate tax lawyers.

Posted by: (???) on October 14, 2012 7:10AM
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