What are the rules governing a police officer questioning minors?

Q: Recently, a police officer was in my neighborhood investigating an incident. I was next door speaking to a neighbor, and my 6 year-old let the officer into my home. I came home approximately 7 minutes later and he was questioning my 6 and 9 yr old children about a poaching incident in our neighborhood. Obviously, they could not have committed the crime at such young ages. When I returned and asked him why he was questioning my children without my presence, he informed me that he was just seeking answers. Later that day, Children services came to my home because the officer had filed child endangerment charges. I was less than 100 feet away, my 9 yr old has a cell phone with which to call me, and child services dismissed his concerns about the children.

A: I would need more information. The way you describe it, or suspect, is that the police gathered evidence illegally about you and called CYF to make it appear that there questioning of the children had a legal basis. It doesn’t sound like a strong case of Endangering Welfare of Children, but the standard to arrest you is not demanding. If arrested for EWOC, you may have a good defense, based on your information. If you are arrested for something else, like poaching, which was based on the evidence the police obtained from your children, your attorney may have grounds to suppress the evidence as illegally obtained, but that is always an uphill battle.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.