miranda rights and minors

Can Police Officers Question Minors Without Parental Consent?

miranda rights and minors

Most people recognize the fact that anyone under the age of 18, is a minor. Asa a minor, a person doesn’t have either enough knowledge or life experience to make good decisions on their own. That is why kids are considered to be under the protection of their parent or legal guardian. The minor’s parent is responsible for ensuring the child’s safety and well-being. If the minor gets into any trouble with law enforcement, the child is usually returned to their parents.

However, something that can cause some confusion is whether or not police officers need to consult the parent before questioning the child. After all, the child is a minor and may say something that could incriminate him or herself without realizing it. The minor may not even understand what Miranda Rights are, which can present a problem for them.

What Are Miranda Rights?

Most people know what there Miranda Rights are, whether or not they know that they know them, thanks to television. If anyone has ever watched a crime drama, then they have likely seen a character get arrested. When that happens, the officer “arresting” them reads of their Miranda Rights. This is the whole “You have the right to remain silent” speech the TV show officers give.

The full Miranda Warning is typically read as follows:

    “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you by the court. With these rights in mind, are you still willing to talk with me about the charges against you?”

After these have been read to a person, he or she can either begin to answer the questions, or remain silent.

While television doesn’t always give an accurate representation of everything that they portray, they do provide basic knowledge. For instance, despite what is shown on TV, Miranda Rights do not have to be read right when a person is arrested. They just have to be read before the person is interrogated. Thanks to Miranda Rights, when a person is arrested, they have the right to remain quiet without fear of additional punishment from law enforcement officers.

The Miranda Rights come from the court case Miranda v. Arizona (1966) where it was determined that Miranda’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights were violated during his arrest and trial. After the case, Miranda Rights were established in order to protect the rights of arrested individuals.

Officers Questioning Minors

When it comes to dealing with minors, for the most part, law enforcement officers have to go through the parents first. However, parents or guardians are not always with their children. Here in California, officers have to read a child their Miranda Rights the minute they take a minor into custody. A minor is considered to be in custody when:

  • He or she is deprived of their freedom.
  • The minor has reasonable belief that he or she cannot leave.

Once a minor is in custody, he or she can waive their Miranda Rights, but it must be done voluntarily. For the waiver to be considered voluntary, the officers could not bribe the minor into giving up information, nor could they threaten the minor. Any minor under the age of 15 cannot waive their Miranda Rights until after they have been consulted by a lawyer.

If a minor is not being arrested or detained, officers can still question him or her if they have reasonable suspicion that criminal activity has taken place. This can be done without consent or permission from a parent or legal guardian. Officers can also ask minors general questions when the child isn’t suspected of a crime and might have just been a witness instead.

Make Sure Minors Know Their Rights

When it comes to the law, minors are expected to protect their own rights. Parents are not guaranteed any right from the US Constitution to be present if and when their child is interrogated. Therefore, it is up to the parent to ensure that their child understand what their Miranda Rights are. If a parent does that, then their child will be less likely to accidentally incriminate themselves if they are ever interrogated.

opening door safety

Who Do You Open the Door For?

opening door safety

The front door to a home is a portal to safety for many people. Once a person is home, they no longer have to worry about people or the outside world. They are in their own personal kingdom. They make the rules, and get to do whatever they want. A person’s home is their sanctuary, which is why people are often very selective of who they allow through the front door.

Exhausted homeowners may not want to deal with whoever may be knocking on their door. While rare, it could be a pushy salesperson trying to sell some product that the person doesn’t want or need. Dealing with that is not fun. However, maybe the person’s child may want to open the door. At what age should a child be allowed to do that?

What Age Is Safe for Children to Answer the Door

When it comes to raising children, new parents can have a lot of questions. Take for instance when a child answers the front door. They’ve seen their parent do that dozens of times. They want to do it too. However, they do not realize how dangerous answering the door can be, especially for little ones. You never know who is on the other side of the door. It could be someone that the child can trust, a stranger, or even a pushy salesman. This begs the questions, when should children be allowed to answer the front door.

As with many questions about when a child might be ready for some sort of responsibility, the final say is up to the parent. Only a parent can truly determine when their child is ready for that extra bit of responsibility.

When it comes to answering the front door, a child needs to be aware of the dangers that could be lurking on the other side. This means that a child needs to be old enough and mature enough to make smart decisions. The exact age when this happens varies from child to child.

When a parents begins to allow their child to open the front door, they need to set some ground rules. Some examples of good rules to follow are:

  • Only can answer the front door when a parent is home.
  • Only answer the door for people that the child knows.
  • Never answer the front door when the child is home alone.
  • If they do answer the door, never admit to being home alone. Instead say that the parent is busy.

Dealing with Pushy Salesmen

Somethings never really get easier with age. Take for instance, dealing with pushy people. Pretty much everyone has dealt with a pushy salesman at least once in their live. Luckily, for the most part, salesmen are only found in stores. Gone are the days when traveling salesmen showing up on your door were more common.

However, salesmen can show up from time to time on your door step. These are definitely people that your child shouldn’t be answering the door for. Most adults don’t even want to answer the door for them. If a person has found themselves in the unfortunate position of dealing with a particularly pushy salesman, here are a few tips to get rid of him or her.

  • Be firm. A person should say they aren’t interested. They should never say they aren’t sure, because that implies they could be persuaded to but the product.
  • Don’t ask questions. This starts a conversation, and again implies that the person could be persuaded into buying the product.
  • Be busy. Whether or not the person is actually busy, they should say they are too busy to talk to the salesman.
  • Watch body language. Sometimes all it takes for a person to show they are uninterested is to turn away from the salesperson or simply walk away.

Don’t Open the Door for Strangers

Front doors are a very important part to a home. That simply little barrier helps decide who can and cannot enter into the private sanctuary. This is why people are so selective over who the answer the door for. They don’t want to open the door for some stranger after all.

When it comes to parents allowing their young children to open the front door, they need to be careful. They should only give privilege to kids who are mature enough to handle that kind of responsibility. The parent should also establish some ground rules to ensure that the child stays safe.

alcohol tolerance frequent questions

Everyone Can Handle Their Alcohol Differently

alcohol tolerance frequent questions

Most people recognize that everyone is different in their own unique way. Some people are taller, some are wider. Everyone’s skin color is a little bit different. There are so many things that make every single person different and unique. One type of difference that often gets overlooked is how our bodies handle different substances. In particular, how our bodies react to alcohol.

Since everyone is a little different in this regard, everyone has a different alcohol tolerance level. Some people get tipsy after a beer or two. Others need to have some hard liquor before they feel anything. These different tolerance levels can greatly affect a person and their abilities after having some drinks.

What Is Alcohol Tolerance

Alcohol tolerance refers to how well, or poorly, a person’s body is able to process the ethanol found in alcohol. A person’s alcohol tolerance determines how much alcohol a person needs to consume before feeling buzzed or drunk. It also plays a part in how well the person can recover after having those drinks.

Typically, larger people have higher alcohol tolerance levels than smaller people. This is due to the fact that it takes more alcohol to fully affect the larger body. Meanwhile, the same amount of alcohol could easily spread throughout the body of a smaller individual. Since, on average, men are larger than women, men have a tendency to have higher alcohol tolerance levels than women.

Human bodies are designed to adapt. While everyone starts out with a base alcohol tolerance level, that level goes up the more frequently a person drinks. The more alcohol a person consumes, the better their body becomes at processing the alcohol, to a point at least. Too much heavy consumption of alcohol can be damaging to the body. It can lead to a dependency on alcohol, alcoholism, and eventual liver failure. Both of these are not fun ailments to experience, and so a person needs to drink responsibly.

Things to Consider

When a person is drinking, they need to consider a lot of different things. If a person wants to stay healthy, they need to be aware of how much alcohol their body can handle. Knowing this will help them limit themselves and keep things from getting too out of hand.

Another thing to consider is the fact that a person’s alcohol tolerance level determines how well they can recover from a night of drinking. If a person has a low alcohol tolerance, then they should limit their drinking that night if they have plans the following morning.

A person should also have a good idea of their friend’s alcohol tolerance, or at least recognize when that friend has crossed the line. By identifying that moment, the person can help the friend make good decisions, such as not driving home from the bar. after all, anyone who has had too much to drink should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Drink Responsibly

Everyone is a little different. This means that some people can handle alcohol better than others. This can be for any number of reasons. Maybe the person just drinks more frequently, or maybe they are a bit larger. Some studies have even found that since the availability of alcohol did not spread evenly across the world, some ethnicities have higher tolerances to alcohol than others.

No matter the reason for the differences, a person should be aware of their own alcohol tolerance. When they do, they will be less likely to over drink, which is referred to as drinking responsibly. This can keep them out of trouble, because people don’t always make the best decisions when drunk. This can also keep a person healthy by not over exposing themselves to alcohol.

when can police do a search

When Can Officers Search You without a Warrant?

when can police do a search

Here in the United States of America, citizens are guaranteed certain rights and protections under the Constitution. The Constitution and its amendments are where most of our rights as citizens are written. Some of them, like the freedom of speech, are pretty well known. Meanwhile there are other rights that aren’t as well known, but are as equally important. A perfect example of this would the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizures. This means that police officers, and other government officials, can’t just decide to go through someone’s stuff without very good reason. In order for them to perform a search, they typically need a warrant from a judge. The warrant will give the officers permission to search through whatever it lists.

While typically a warrant is required, there are special instances where a warrant may not be required.

  • The person gives their consent to be searched.
  • The person is being arrested and searched for possible weapons.
  • Inspection searches at borders.
  • The police have probable cause there is evidence in a vehicle.
  • The incriminating item is in plain view.
  • It is an emergency situation and can prevent physical harm or damage.

In these instances, an officer may not need a warrant to search a person or their property.

Thanks to this law, officers cannot search a person’s personal property, real and digital, without the person’s consent or a warrant. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens and gives them privacy from law enforcement agencies.

cell phone tax in california

Can California Tax Text Messages?

cell phone tax in california

Everyone is different in their own, special way. However, there are somethings out there that we all do. Everyone needs to eat and drink, and we all like to stay connected with people that we care about. One of the most popular ways for people to stay connected is through texting. Local California lawmakers are aware of this, and looking to take advantage of this fact.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) wants to begin taxing text messages in order to help fund programs that provide phone services for the poor. They planned to vote on the measure in early January of 2019. The new tax would likely bring in millions of dollars for the programs.

However, while this idea was supported by the CPUC, it received immediate backlash from consumers and wireless service providers alike. Cellphone service providers were against the idea, because the tax would likely push users away from their messaging services to online messaging apps in order to avoid the tax.

Luckily, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has since intervened. They determined that text messages are an information service similarly to emails. They are not telecommunication services, which in theory means they cannot be taxed. However, not all supporters of the new tax are convinced that this is the end of the discussion on taxing text messages.

What do you think of California’s idea of taxing text messages? Let us know in the comments down below.

stolen property and cell phones

Could Parents Face Jail Time for Taking Away Their Child’s Cellphone?

stolen property and cell phones

Pretty much every adult out there today, could tell you how if they didn’t behave well as a child, their favorite toy or item would get taken away until they cleaned up their act. It’s a parenting strategy that adults have been using for as long as anyone can remember. Doing this teaches a kid that their bad behavior will result in undesirable consequences.

In today’s modern world, the most prized device of teens is their smartphone, an object that was nonexistent just a few decades ago. Naturally, this has become the go to object to take away from a misbehaving teen. However, doing this can have some unexpected consequences, as one Michigan mother found out.

The mother in question took 15-year-old daughter’s phone away as punishment for getting in trouble at school. Sometime later, a deputy knocked on her door to arrest her for theft. As it turns out, the woman’s ex-husband, who had given the phone to the daughter, had reported the theft to the police. He conveniently neglected to inform the officers that the woman who took the phone was the girl’s mother.

The woman was arrested and was kept in a holding cell for two hours before posting a $200 dollar bail. Thankfully, the case was quickly dismissed when it went to court, and the prosecutors learned that the phone was, indeed, the daughter’s and not the ex-husband’s.

This is a pretty crazy story, and luckily most parents do not have to worry about facing jail time over taking their child’s phone away. As the legal guardian of a minor, parents have the right to do things like taking away phones.

how to stay safe on halloween

Making Halloween Safe and Fun

how to stay safe on halloween

The spookiest day of the year is creeping closer and closer. With Halloween right around the corner, many kids are preparing themselves for a sugary feast. Meanwhile, parents are doing everything that they can to keep this Halloween both fun, and safe. While Halloween is meant to be a scary holiday, it should be safe for kids.

Of course, there are the more obvious safety tips such as:

  • Plan a route in advance.
  • Stay on sidewalks.
  • Stay well-lit.
  • Check kids candy.

There are also tips about what kind of costumes should be used, such as:

  • Wear comfy shoes.
  • Avoid masks.
  • Avoid costumes that drag.
  • Use flexible props.

Doing these quick little things will help a parent keep their kids safe this Halloween, but what about making sure this holiday is fun as well?

Not every neighborhood is a good place to go trick or treating. Some may be too unsafe, while other may be too isolated. For instance, rural dirt roads do not lend themselves to good trick-or-treating. A parent may need to take a good look at the neighborhood where they live to determine if they want to trick-or-treat there, or go somewhere else.

Many towns and cities offer different trick-or-treating alternatives, such as events like trunk-or-treat. Doing a little bit of research can turn up some local events that might help make a child’s Halloween celebration truly spook-tacular!

protect your home from burglars

Is Your House Being Watched by Burglars?

protect your home from butglars

There are various stereotypes that surround the idea of someone breaking into your home. It could be that a masked stranger breaks into your home in the middle of the night and steals your personal belongings while you sleep. It could also be that the burglar wears all black and sneakily climbs through a window in the dead of night while getting away with your television or gaming systems. It doesn’t matter which of these stigmas, or any others, you may have about a burglar because both of them are probably wrong.

According to Dr. Joseph Kuhns, one in four home robberies actually involve a friend or the homeowner or renter and take place in the afternoon. In fact, many times when someone breaks into your home it’s not the first time they have been there. They may have already “cased you home” If you’ve never heard of the term “casing a house,” it’s when burglars watch your home for a few days prior to their planned break-in to watch your habits to determine what the best time to break in is.

We want to help you prevent your home being cased by a burglar and, in turn, burglarized. The first sign that someone may be watching your home, or a home on your block, is a new car appears and stays parked for long periods of time. If the car doesn’t belong to you or anyone on your street and has darkly tinted windows you might want to be suspicious. Further, if you see strangers walking or running down your street – you may want to keep a watchful eye. Keep in mind that they could be from another neighborhood, but if they spend long periods of time looking at your home, take pictures of your home, or are not dressed appropriately, you should contact local authorities.

The next clue to look for is if someone knocks on your door and asks to borrow a phone, is trying to solicit a product, or offer a service you should be wary. It is smart to ask them to wait outside or simply ask them to leave because they could be casing the inside of your home for entry points, pets, and the layout of rooms within your home. It is also smart to keep an eye out for strange flyers in your door or marking on your home. These are often ways professional burglars signal homes to other burglars.

It’s your home and it’s up to you to protect it. If you ever have a gut feeling that something, or someone, is not right it might be a smart idea to invest in a security system or security camera. There is no reason to be paranoid that every single stranger you see is a potential threat, these are simply warning signs to look for. If you notice several of these signals, you may want to alert authorities and your neighbors to keep an extra eye out for intruders.

saved by tacos

Diverted by A Taco

saved by tacos

A day of fun could have ended in tragedy had it not been for a quick-thinking mom who wasn’t afraid to use unorthodox methods to protect herself from a pseudo cop.

After spending the entire day at a local water park, a family decided that the best way to treat themselves was stopping at a food truck for tacos. After getting their order, the family of for settled into their mini-van to enjoy the treat.

While they were eating, a man riding a bike stopped alongside the van. He revealed the gun he had tucked into the waistband of his pants and told the family that he was an undercover police officer. There was something about the guy that just didn’t set right with the woman. Rather than argue with him, she took a deep breath and offered him one of the tacos she’d purchased before suggesting she get some more napkins. He agreed.

The woman managed to remain calm, despite the fact that the man stayed at her van, gun still exposed as he rifled through her purse. When she reached the stand, she begged the people near and in the food truck to not look at her van but to get on the phone and call 911 right away. Everyone took her seriously and a few minutes later, legit law enforcement officers arrived on the scene. One look at them, and the pseudo cop threw his own gun into the minivan and attempted to get in. The legit cops quickly subdued him, recovered the gun, and read the man his rights before hauling him to the county jail.

Once he was arrested, the police learned that the 38-year-old man had several outstanding warrants for his arrest. They have filed charges of child endangerment and impersonating a police officer against him. At this point they don’t know what his intentions were when he approached the family minivan, but they are investigating whether he has a connection to other, recent crimes in the area.

The police are very proud of how the young mother handled herself during the crisis. They feel that should could not have done a better job. If you are ever in a similar situation, it’s better to remain calm and look for a way to distract the threat while you get help rather than losing your temper and trying to fight your way out of the situation.

california wildfires

The Dangers of Wildfires

california wildfires

As summer strengthens its grip on California, it is important for everyone to remember to be prepared for wildfires. While the state may be out of the worst stages of the drought that plagued us in recent years, things are still pretty dry out there. That is what summer does to the state. It bakes California and dries out large swatches of plant life, which makes the perfect kindling for wildfires.

Wildfires are dangerous, costly, and very easy to start. One Washington teen learned this the hard way after starting the large Eagle Creek wildfire last year in Oregon. The boy said he tossed firecrackers into the woods, which sparked the blaze. Recently, a judge ruled that the boy would need to pay roughly $36 million in damages. That is a very steep fine for a teenager.

Wildfires spread at their will, and torch anything in their path. With the help of winds, they can spread quickly, which is why it is important to heed evacuation notices given by emergency personnel. They understand better than anyone else how wildfires operate, and you should always take their advice when it comes to wildfires.

When it comes to preventing wildfires, a person should never play with fire in dry areas. A good gust of wind and a single ember is all it takes to spark an out of control blaze. For people who live in rural areas, it is important to follow all brush clearance laws in that area. Doing so can save your home.

Wildfires are scary, and difficult to control. It is important that everyone do what they can to prevent wildfires from occurring, and to follow the instructions of emergency personnel. Doing so can save lives and reduce the cost of fighting a fire.