As a general matter, I would not want my minor child talking to police about a
fatal incident about which he or she had knowledge with out me and a lawyer
present. Call that uncoopertaive or call it zealous of my consitutional rights
and protective of my child. Either way, it is a serious situation and I would
proceed with real caution.
Never, ever, talk to the police without a lawyer present. Google it. There are
several good videos, by lawyers and police of what can (and has) happened to
innocent people who made the mistake of talking to police.
So why are so many people afraid of the truth? Everyone wants justice when their
child is hurt or killed but when it involves someone else's child, it
becomes "let's not get involved".
Mormon Democrat,As I see it there is a problem here in the U.S. and it
appears you may be contributing. If something had happened when I was a teen, my
parents would be marching me down to the police station. They may have had an
attorney with us, but we would be marching to the police station as soon as the
situation became known by my parents. And, by the way, Mormon Democrat, do you
understand that actions that you suggest as proper could also be seen as
withholding information and accessory after the fact. I hope that the
authorities are considering charges against reluctant parents for withholding
information and accessory after the fact. They could see prison time for either,
and as far as I am concerned they will deserve whatever they get.
Mormon Democrat: If you knew your child had this kind of information would you
accompany him to the police department so he could tell what he knew. Or would
you tell him not to say anything to the police. Just asking.
And further Mormon Democrat, if there was one or more passengers in the car that
struck the deceased besides the driver, they become accessories after the fact,
and as I understand they could be held as criminally liable as the driver. So if
there were any passengers in the car that struck the decedent, I would suggest
that they immediately go (with their attorney) to the police station.
This tragic story reminds of the unsolved disappearance of Kiplyn Davis. A
small Utah County community, death of a teenager, a conspiracy of silence and
lack of cooperation with the authorities.
The parents of those involved should use this opportunity to teach
RESPONSIBILITY and doing the right thing! If not, you are giving them the
message that they can do anything they want and possibly get away with it. SPARE
THE ROD, SPOIL THE CHILD. Take them to the police department if they know
something and let them tell what they know.
TandJ and jpc53, please refer to the Constitution, Fifth Amendment. Research it
a little bit. I sense in the two of you a strong sense of desire to be
law-abiding, but I have a feeling you don't know what the law is. You
cannot be held as an accessory-after-the-fact for exercising your Constitutional
right to be silent. Furthermore, I think you read too much into Mormon
Democrat's statement, he/she is not advocating not talking to police, just
advocating that a child shouldn't speak to police without both a parent and
a lawyer present. That is just good common sense.
Zona Zone, your comments about your constitutional rights is not entirely
correct. If you are involved in a criminal act but did not know it was a
criminal act, you had better report it as soon as you find out the truth. If you
pick up a person at a bank and later find that the person had robbed the bank,
you can become an accessory after the fact by exercising your 5th Amendment
right and fail to report it to the police. By failing to report it, you are in
effect harboring the criminal, and you become an accessory after the fact. If
anyone in addition to the driver was in the car that hit the deceased, they
better report it at the first chance they have. Otherwise they become an
accessory after the fact by harboring the criminal. If any of the parents or
other teens know what happened, they better report it as soon as they can.
Otherwise they become an accessory after the fact by harboring the criminal.
And, by harboring the criminal, you become as culpable as the criminal. You can
refuse to talk to the police, but you don't avoid culpability.
Mormon Democrat is correct, You need to make sure your child is not going to be
twisted into saying something untrue and messing up their life permanently. I
did not read a proposal to not talk to the police there.I -do- hope
those who know something will come forward (with appropriate safeguards if
needed.)We do need to get off the soapbox of the "If you
don't have anything to hide" thing and recognize the right to not speak
without an attorney is not being uncooperative, nor is not allowing a random
warrant less search, or not allowing your house to be used by police just
because they want to. All three of these things have put innocent people in
jail lately. I have nothing against police, but the tactics used in the past
have show you need to be wary and if you are a teenager you don't know
enough about the ways of the legal system to keep from getting in trouble you
aren't guilty of.
Many excellent comments. One consideration is that if there is a guilty party
(either an individual or several), they are very afraid now of being caught.
They may be intimidating others that know the facts. Or they may do something
drastic, like harm themselves or someone else. It's essential that the
police get to the bottom of this asap to prevent additional harm.
I agree with MormonDemocratIf you know something, by all means share
that information with the police. But ONLY after consulting with legal counsel
and in the presence of your attorney. There is absolutely no harm in making
sure your behind is covered, considering the recent stories in the news which
have shown that Utah cops aren't always as much on the up-and-up as Officer
Friendly would have you believe. Sad, but true.