What does "Consult" Mean?
The #YCJA states in section 146:
(c) the young person has, before the statement was made, been given a reasonable opportunity to consult
Look up some dictionary definitions of "consult" and "consultation".
When you consult someone you seek information or advice from them. Usually that's behind a closed door in person. Sometimes it's on a secure telephone line. It always means that there is freedom to communicate.
If you are seeking information or advice from someone you need to know who they are, you need to be able to say something to them, you need to have some privacy, and you need some time. A young person who is making use of his or her rights under the Youth Criminal Justice Act needs each of these elements to be facilitated. Please remember that it is not the parent's right - the right belongs to the young person.
The parent should always be able, though, to explain to the young person what is meant by "consult".
Please remember that only statements made by the young person to counsel, a lawyer, are privileged - confidential and protected from subpoena.
Don't be afraid when advised of these rights by police to ask if the "consult" they offer can be without fear of being overheard, in privacy, and with sufficient time.
The "consult" time is not for the purpose of the parent interrogating the child. The "consult" time is not for the purpose of the parent disciplining the child. The "consult" time is not for the purpose of the parent unloading guilt on the young person. It is for basic advice as to how to remain silent and access a lawyer.
Copyright 2018 Stephen Biss
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