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FAQs regarding juveniles and their rights in Missouri

On Behalf of | Dec 23, 2021 | Juvenile Crimes |

Minors in Missouri who commit crimes face different legal distinctions than adults. Under Missouri’s Juvenile Code, rulings against children try to keep the juvenile’s best interest in mind.

If you have a child who committed a crime, you may have questions about their prosecution. This article answers several frequently asked questions for juvenile crime in Missouri.

Who is an adult in Missouri?

A person 17 years old or older is an adult under Missouri law. However, there are different classifications of adulthood depending on the act. For example, if minors use or possess a tobacco product, they can face prosecution under dual jurisdiction. Dual jurisdiction means both the juvenile and adult court try a child.

What rights do juveniles have?

Juveniles have much the same rights as adults. They have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. If they cannot afford an attorney, the state provides one. Any statements made to Juvenile Officer or other personnel can legally affect the minor. Also, a juvenile has the right to stop an interview at any point.

Can law enforcement question juveniles?

Juveniles must speak with a Juvenile Officer or other trained individual before facing interrogation by other law enforcement. The Juvenile Officer must inform the youth of their rights.

Can juveniles wave their rights?

Yes, but a juvenile must have the opportunity to consult with their legal guardian before making any decisions regarding their right to wave rights.

The juvenile courts in Missouri have specific rules that govern the handling of your child. Do not take this FAQ as a guarantee or promise of how the juvenile courts work. Consult with a professional before you make any decisions about your child.