December 23, 2011
Ask the Attorney Tips: Criminal Law FAQ
~ written by Lisa Thompson, Esq., Thompson Steward Hall, LLP
Q: The police want to question my son or daughter who is a minor. Can the police question him or her without me being present?
A: Yes. In Ohio, parents do not have to be present before police question a juvenile. The juvenile, however, still has the same fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. Therefore, the police must read the juvenile his or her Miranda rights as soon as the police take the child into custody.
Q: A police officer pulled me over for a traffic infraction and asked me if I consented to a search of my car. Do I have to say yes?
A: No. You do not have to give the police the right to search your vehicle if you do not want to. The police cannot search your vehicle without your permission unless the officer sees something illegal that’s within plain view, or unless you are arrested out of the traffic stop.
Q: The court placed a protection order against me, but now the protected person is trying to contact me. Can I talk to the protected person?
A: No. You absolutely may not. You should not have any communication with the protected person, either through in-person, telephonic, or electronic means. That includes texting and Facebook. Each time you contact or talk to the protected person, whether you initiated the contact or not, is a separate violation of the protection order.
Each week, the Columbus Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service partners with WSYX-TV's 6 on Your Side to staff the "Ask the Attorney" program. Volunteer lawyers handle calls on everything from adoptions to zoning. Call "Ask the Attorney" with your legal question on Wednesdays between 5:00pm and 7:00pm at 614/481.6678.