As a parent, you think that your teenager will never run afoul of Minnesota laws. But all it takes is one bad decision or miscalculation to land your son or daughter into legal hot water.
If that occurs, you want them to know how to act and behave to minimize any bad outcomes. Just as we teach our kids what to do in emergencies like school shootings or car accidents, so should we prepare them ahead of time for how to act if detained by the police.
Often, a teen's first adversarial encounter with law enforcement stems from a suspected drug incident. Below are some things to teach your kids to do and not do if detained by the police.
No warrant, no search
It should be noted that this does not apply in schools. However, if your teen is stopped by the police on the street or in a car and the cop asks to search either the vehicle or your teen, they should know that anything other than a brief pat-down for weapons requires a search warrant signed by a judge.
It's easy to be lulled into thinking that if you have no contraband there can be no problem. That's a false sense of security, as some police will plant drugs on suspects. Then, too, there is no way to be 100 percent certain that a police officer might not be able to find a stray pill or evidence of marijuana in the vehicle that you are driving. It could even be something shoved up underneath the seat by the previous owner, but it is your teen who will be charged with the offense.
You don't have to answer police questions
After providing identification to the requesting officer, it is perfectly fine to politely tell the police that you prefer to confer with your Minneapolis criminal defense attorney before answering any other questions.