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Children and young people

Children and young people have all of the rights of adults upon arrest and some additional rights to reflect their vulnerable position. If a child or young person is under 18 years or appears to have a mental illness or an intellectual disability, before asking any questions the police should do their best to ensure that a parent or guardian is present.

The arresting officer must, as soon as practicable after the arrest, explain the nature of the allegations and inform the child or young person of their right to seek legal representation.

The parent or guardian should be called in as soon as possible after detention of the child or young person. Where a child or young person has been apprehended and does not nominate a solicitor, relative or friend to be present, or there is some practical problem in having anyone attend, it is up to the arresting officer to take all reasonable steps to try and ensure that a guardian (or other adult nominated by the child or young person) is notified of the arrest and invited to be present during any interrogation or investigation whilst they are in custody. In other words, the fact that the child or young person has not nominated anybody does not mean that the police should leave the matter there [Young Offenders Act 1993 (SA) s 14], see Young offenders.

Children and young people  :  Last Revised: Fri Nov 17th 2017
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.