Lesson 3: Legal Rights for Youth

Topic 3: You Are Under Arrest

Youth Rights: Being Arrested

You will know if you are under arrest because a police officer has said, “you are under arrest”, or has somehow indicated you are not free to go by physically holding you.

If you are under arrest, and the police ask, you must tell them your name and address.  You do not have to give the police officer your age, but it is a good idea to do so. The police must tell you why you are being arrested unless the reason is obvious — remember what they say so you can tell your lawyer. Do not answer any further questions. You can say: “I want to remain silent.”

 If you are arrested you have rights that the police should tell you about:

  • You have the right to talk to a lawyer before you say anything to police (other than giving your name, address, and age). The right to talk to a lawyer is called the “right to retain and instruct counsel.”
  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • You have the right to talk to your parents or guardian before you say anything to police.
  • You have the right to have a lawyer and your parent(s) or another adult with you if the police question you.

Scenario from “The Stuff Your Mom Warned You About” Video

A youth, Mimi, is being arrested. The police officer tells Mimi, “You are being arrested under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.  You have the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay.  Do you understand?”  View the video on the LegalRights4U website.