Is a police officer who arrests a minor required to notify the child’s parents?

UPDATED: Sep 9, 2011

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Is a police officer who arrests a minor required to notify the child’s parents?

Asked on September 9, 2011 under Criminal Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that if a minor is arrested for any reason the police must immediately notify the parents of the arrest.  I would say that this rule is in effect in all the states of the United States.  Although there is a lesser test for detaining a minor or arresting them for a misdemeanor offense - the issue revolving around probable cause - the rule about notifying their parents remains pretty hard and true. If your child was arrested and the police did not notify you I would contact the Sargent at the precinct to discuss where the breakdown in communication happened.  And I might even consider filing a complaint as long as there are no facts here that you have left out that might influence a different outcome here.  Good luck.

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