SB 395: Protecting Youth Miranda Rights

Children - no matter how young - can waive their Miranda rights and be interrogated by law enforcement, despite numerous studies which show that children aren’t developmentally equipped to make such decisions.

#cut50 and the California coalition have introduced legislation ensuring anyone under the age of 18 will be required to consult with a lawyer before they waive their Miranda rights and are interrogated by police.

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SB 395 would ultimately protect our youth from being pressured into false confessions. It would further strengthen the application of Constitutional rights for a vulnerable demographic: children. This bill would:  

  • Require an attorney explain the Miranda rights and ensure that the youth understands. Counties already have public defense systems in place to provide this consultation.
  • Allow youth to make their own decisions about whether to waive their rights.

This bill does not:

  • Require an attorney to be present and can help the youth understand their rights by phone.
  • Change the Miranda law in any way: Police can still talk to youth without reading their Miranda rights or calling an attorney when they are not being detained or arrested.

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