Can the police question my child without notifying me or allowing me to be present?

By: Wallin & Klarich

Unfortunately the answer to this question in California is YES.

For many years there have been laws that have bee introduced in Sacramento to change this law but Governor Brown vetoed legislation last year that would have changed the law. Until the law is changed the police can go to your school or your home (even if you are not home) and interview your child about a possible crime that your child might be involved in. You do not have the legal right to be present during the interview. Worse yet you do not have to be informed in advance that the interview will take place.

Millions of Californians believe that this is a violation of a parents right to the custody of his child. However, until the law changes the police are free to speak to your child anytime they would like and you do not have a legal right to be present.

The same is true of social workers. If there is a report made that someone may have abused your child social workers will often come to your home and demand to see your child. If you deny them the right to interview your child they can take your child from your home and place the child in foster care. They will also interview the child without you being present. Often they will come to your house with police officers so that they can enforce their rights to interview your child.

Hopefully some day this law will change and parents will have more rights but until that day happens we strongly suggest you advise your child that they should not speak to any police officer unless you are present. This will give you time to retain a criminal defense lawyer for your child. If your child says he does not want to speak without his lawyer the police cannot legally question him.

For over 30 years, Wallin & Klarich has been defending the rights of thousands of satisfied clients. We understand the laws and we are always up to date with changes in the law. If you need a criminal defense attorney, call Wallin & Klarich now at 888-280-6839. We have offices in Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange County. We will be there when you call. Visit us at

Posted In: Criminal Defense