Miranda Warnings For Teens Revised; Legal Aid Says Clarification Doesn't Go Far Enough
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

While the NYPD has revised its Miranda warning for juveniles, The Legal Aid Society believes that the clarification does not go far enough.

Last November, Queens Family Court Judge Stephe Bogacz suppressed the statements of a 13-year-old boy saying the detective on the case had not fully explained to the teen that he had a right to a lawyer even before appearing in court. After the decision, the NYPD revised the pamphlets detectives read when questioning juveniles. Juveniles now should be told: “If you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided for you without cost. That means if you want a lawyer but do not have the money to pay for one, a lawyer will be given to you for free. Do you understand?”

"I don’t think it makes it much clearer,” Tamara Steckler, Attorney-in-Charge of Legal Aid's Juvenile Rights Practice, told the Daily News. “We’re talking about children. A 13-year-old doesn’t understand. He’s nervous. He’s scared. It should be as simple as saying: ‘Do you want an attorney, right now, before speaking to us? You’re entitled to that.’”




NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
EXCLUSIVE: Miranda warnings for teens revised after judge rules cop didn't properly explain juvenile's rights
BY By Rocco Parascandola
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Miranda warnings for juveniles have been altered after a judge criticized a cop for not giving a teen proper instructions on his rights.

THE NYPD has revised its Miranda warning for juveniles after a judge criticized its wording, the Daily News has learned.

Queens Family Court Judge Stephen Bogacz last November suppressed the statements of a 13-year-old boy accused of sexually abusing a cousin, saying the detective on the case didn’t fully explain to the teen his right to a lawyer.

“If you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided for you without cost,” the detective said. “That means if you want a lawyer but do not have the money to pay for one, the court will give you a lawyer. Do you understand?”

Bogacz said it wasn’t clear enough that the teen had the right to a lawyer even before appearing in court.

“For a reasonable 13-year-old, being advised that assigned counsel would be provided by the court is tantamount to telling that youth that a free attorney would not be available during the police questioning,” the judge said in his ruling.

“Greater care” is necessary when dealing with the rights of juveniles, he added.

The NYPD said it reviewed the decision and decided to revise the pamphlets detectives read from when questioning juveniles.

An internal order issued last month by the NYPD said young suspects should now be told: “If you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided for you without cost. That means if you want a lawyer but do not have the money to pay for one, a lawyer will be given to you for free. Do you understand?”

The Legal Aid Society, which represented the teen, said the clarification doesn’t go far enough.

“I don’t think it makes it much clearer,” said Tamara Steckler, who runs Legal Aid’s Juvenile Rights Practice. “We’re talking about children. A 13-year-old doesn’t understand. He’s nervous. He’s scared. It should be as simple as saying: ‘Do you want an attorney, right now, before speaking to us? You’re entitled to that.’”