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Oklahoma City Criminal Law Blog

Interrogating teens is practically formulaic, and that's bad

What if -- and stay with us on this one -- you were an alien from another planet. For whatever reason, you're here on Earth and you look like a human. So as you wander aimlessly across this new world, you trespass on someone's property and you're arrested. The police take you in and start interrogating you, but of course you have no idea what's going on. You don't know you have rights. You don't even know what crime you've committed.

Is this a perfect comparison to teens or juveniles who are interrogated for crimes they commit? Well, no. It certainly screams of false equivalency. But the point we are trying to make is echoed by a recent study that found teenagers who were placed in an interrogation room had no clue what their rights were, or what they were even supposed to do while they were in there.

A criminal charge can ruin your life -- but it doesn't have to

It is one of the pillars of the criminal justice system: a person who is accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. However, as everyone is well aware, that isn't necessarily how every criminal case is perceived. In this era of instant news and constant connection, everyone has an opinion, and thoughts become shared so quickly. If someone is accused of committing a crime, there is a good chance that the public at large will label that person guilty, even though he or she is innocent until the prosecution proves its case.

We say all of this because when someone is accused of a crime, there is so much on the line. Their reputation is on the line; their financial future is on the line; their professional livelihood is on the line; and most other aspects of the individual's life are on the line.

M.K. Bailey Law Offices
4811 Gaillardia Parkway
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Oklahoma City, OK 73142
Phone: 405-486-9789
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