Interrogating Your Child

Tip 2: Don't conduct your own interrogation of the youth after you receive the call from police. Many parents respond to an allegation against their child by conducting an intense questioning of the young person about details of the alleged offence. That could be a major mistake by the parent for a number of reasons.

 interrogation lamp

A parent is usually not also a lawyer. No solicitor-client privilege attaches to confessions made by a child to a parent. If the child admits criminal responsibility to you, you may find yourself in Court, under subpoena as the Crown's main witness against your child.  Anything that the child says to you can be used against him or her in Court, the same as anything said to police.


Parents often act as potential sureties for their child at a bail hearing. They take the witness stand, to assure the Court, that it is safe, for the child to live at home rather than jail, while the case is pending. A parent who finds out information about the alleged offence from the child, prior to the bail hearing, may find himself or herself answering questions in Court from the Assistant Crown Attorney, about what the child has revealed, during cross-examination at the bail hearing. The defence lawyer or duty counsel may object, but the Crown may be able to convince the Justice of the Peace that the question is proper, since it relates to the parent's ability to act as jailor for the child pending trial.


At some date in the future your child will be on trial for the offence. If you have taken a verbal statement, then you are as much an investigator as the police and you may be a witness at trial.


When your child is being interrogated by the police, upon arrest, you may find it difficult to keep quiet and let the police conduct questioning, if you have already completed your own.


The role of a parent at a police station should be one of moral support for the child, not as a police investigator. Your child needs you to help access legal advice, make phone calls, find names of lawyers, ask for use of the phone, and ask when the child will be released.


Return to List of Tips for What a YCJA Parent and Child Should Do


Consult a Lawyer - Stephen Biss - 905-273-3322


List of Young Offenders Debates



Copyright 2018 Stephen Biss



Stephen R. Biss, Barrister & Solicitor

470 Hensall Circle, Suite 303
Mississauga, Ontario
L5A 3V4

905-273-3322  or 1-877-273-3322


Advertisement. Any legal opinions expressed at this site relate to the Province of Ontario, Canada only. If you reside or carry on business in any other jurisdiction please consult a lawyer, solicitor, or attorney in your own jurisdiction. WARNING: All information contained herein is provided for the purpose of providing basic information only and should not be construed as formal legal advice. The author disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance upon such information. You are strongly encouraged to seek and retain professional legal advice before relying upon any of the information contained herein.