Filing of a Juvenile Petition not a Critical Stage – State in Int. of PMP
Generally speaking, in new Jersey, once an indictment has been returned charging a defendant with a crime, police and prosecutors may not interview him without the express consent of his attorney. Even a Miranda warning and voluntary waiver by the defendant will be insufficient to allow such an admission by the defendant into evidence. The question posed to the Appellate Division in State in the Interest of P.M.P. is whether the filing of a juvenile petition in the Family Part of Superior Court triggers the same level of protection to defendants who make statements to the police following an arrest on a newly filed petition. The Court ruled that this particular level of protection does not apply in the juvenile context following the filing of a petition. Such petitions are not the functional equivalent of an indictment.
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