According to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, police officers now need to consider the age of the child in order to determine whether or not to read then Miranda warning. The ruling aims to bring due process and balance between the rights of adults and children.
What is the Miranda Warning?
Miranda rights, also referred to as the Miranda warning, originated from Miranda v. Arizona . The reading of the Miranda warning was a result of a ruling implemented by United States Supreme Court in 1966 which aims to protect the rights of an arrested individual against self incrimination. The ruling states that the arresting police officer must give a Miranda warning to the arrested suspect. This warning indicates that the suspect is not required to talk to police and that anything they say to the officers can be used against them. It also states that they have the right to a criminal defense attorney, and if they can’t afford a criminal attorney, they will be provided with one by the court.
New Court Ruling for Underage Criminal Offenders
The US Supreme Court Justices ruled last month that the age and level of sophistication of an underage suspect must be evaluated by the questioning officers to determine if the Miranda warning needs to be given to them. The ruling addresses the issue of whether a different “reasonable person” standard should apply to underage suspects who may more often feel intimidated or bound to submit to officers questioning or not feel free to go even when an adult under similar circumstances would feel free to go or not be bound.
The new ruling serves as an additional children’s rights protection as the Supreme Court realizes that some underage suspects brought in for questioning don’t actually understand their full rights or may feel more easily intimidated than an adult .
Are Underage DWI Offenders Subject to Adult DWI Laws and Court?
Drivers of all ages in Minnesota are equally subject to the DWI laws of Minnesota. For any individual to be charged with DWI, any or a combination of the following circumstances must occur:
- Evidence of driving while impaired
- Breath test result of .08 or higher blood alcohol concentration
- Presence of an illegal or controlled substance in the body within two hours of the time of driving
- Controlling or operating a motor vehicle
However, for drunken drivers under the age of 21, additional laws are implemented. Although Minnesota DWI case offenders aged 16 to 17 years old are not subject for sentencing to adult incarceration facilities, they are under the jurisdiction of adult court.
Further Minnesota Underage Drinking Laws
According to Minnesota law, the following are prohibited for persons under the age of 21:
- To take alcohol with no parental supervision or permission
- To purchase or to attempt to purchase alcohol
- To have alcohol in possession with the intent of consuming it
- To misrepresent age with the intent of purchasing alcohol
What are the Penalties of an Underage DWI Charge?
A first time violation of Minnesota DWI laws is usually considered a DWI misdemeanor which may cause the offender to be subject to a $1,000.00 maximum fine and suspension of his/her drivers license. Most DWI violations result in the suspension of the offenders driver’s license. Furthermore, a driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days, if an underage offender presents a false driver’s license, Minnesota ID card or other false identification for purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol.
Because DWI laws are complicated and constantly changing, underage DWI offenders should be represented by a DWI lawyer who has knowledge of the most current DWI laws and is able to effectively use these new laws to defend the rights of his underage clients. If you are under 21 years old or a parent of an underage drunken driver charged with DWI in Minnesota, you need to immediately contact Douglas T. Kans, an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney who is abreast of the current DWI law. He is willing to provide you or your underage child with comprehensive legal services for the best possible resolution of underage DWI/DUI case. You may contact Kans Law Firm, LLC at (952) 835-6314 for a free case review.