Teenage children’s rights are not as well-known or understood as adult rights. They are entitled to legal representation and due process just like adults. In some cases, teens are tried as adults too.

Yet, teenagers cannot smoke, drink alcohol or vote. What rights do you have over your teen? Legally you are responsible for your teen, but you may not be able to help them out of a criminal situation.

The school your teen attends can search your child’s property without your consent, can police? The school your child attends only has the right to search your child’s property if it is on school grounds.

When can police search your teen’s car?

The police can search your teen’s car, with or without your permission, when they have legal cause. The officer will tell your teen why they are conducting the search.

Without a warrant, police can search your teen’s car:

  • If your teen gave consent
  • If there is visible evidence of a crime
  • It is necessary to do so for the officer’s safety
  • Your teen is being arrested for drug possession, there may be more in the vehicle

If a police officer asks your teen for permission to search their vehicle or other property your teen can say no. You can speak on behalf of your teen in this situation if you are present. It is always a good idea to simply and politely refuse the search when possible.

Can police give your teen a breath test?

The police can administer an alcohol breath test to your teen without your consent. What many people do not know is that in most situations, your teen can refuse a breath test without you present. The police will call you or bring your teen to you before administering the test.

If your teen is driving while under the influence and gets pulled over, they no longer have a right to refuse a breath test. The process may depend on the individual situation, speaking with a legal representative may better help you and your teen understand the case.