Lesson 3: Legal Rights for Youth

Topic 5: When You Are Taken Into Custody

Youth Rights: In Custody

What You Need to Know

If you say anything about the events the police are looking into, you are “making a statement” — saying something police can use in court. You are even making a statement if you say you don't know anything about what happened, or say you weren't there or you didn't do it. 

What You Need to Do

If you are arrested, phone a lawyer. If you don’t have a number for a lawyer, ask the police for a “duty counsel” number. Duty counsel is a lawyer who will give you free legal advice:

  • Do not talk to the police before you get advice from a lawyer.
  • Do not talk to the police without a lawyer present.

Scenario from “Mimi in Custody” Video

Mimi is at the police station.  Mimi was arrested at the bus stop because she had drugs in her backpack.  She is wondering what will happen and what her rights are. View the video on the LegalRights4U website.

At the police station you have the right to:

  • Speak to a lawyer and a parent or other adult in private before you say anything
  • Have a lawyer and your parents (or other adult) with you when you make a statement to police