A new law makes it illegal for peace officers to interrogate youths 15 years old or younger without first allowing them to consult with an attorney.
“The bill would require that a youth 15 years of age or younger consult with legal counsel in person, by telephone, or by video conference prior to a custodial interrogation and before waiving any of the above specified rights,” the bill states.
The law was sponsored by California Senator Ricardo Lara.
“People under 18 years of age have lesser ability as compared to adults to comprehend the meaning of their rights and the consequences of waiver,” the bill states.
“Additionally, a large body of research has established that adolescent thinking tend to either ignore or discount future outcomes and implications, and disregard long-term consequences of important decisions.”
The bill was approved by the governor on Oct. 11, 2017.