Does the information on this site apply to minors? - Police Encounters - Know My Rights

Does the information on this site apply to minors?

Yes. Minors generally have the same rights as adults. For example, minors can refuse searches and decline to answer questions without an attorney present.

Nevertheless, minors face unique challenges when attempting to exercise these rights. Young people are highly susceptible to coercion by authority figures, and are easily convinced to waive their rights. Police will often take advantage of this by telling young people: "You're underage. You don't have any rights." This, of course, is a lie.

Just like adults, minors must understand and confidently assert their constitutional rights in order for these rights to protect them.

The rights of minors are also undermined by the fact that young people tend not to own property. Young people often use shared spaces, both at home and at school, which are controlled by adults. Since property owners may grant access to police and even authorize searches in many cases, young people have a reduced ability to protect their 4th Amendment rights when sharing space with others. The best protection is to clearly mark your own property so that it's clear to everyone else that it's yours. Even your parents can't consent to a search of something that's clearly yours alone.