6.290 - Juvenile Investigations and Arrests

Effective Date: 7/18/2012

6.290 – POL

This policy applies to the investigations and arrests of juveniles.

1. Definitions

A juvenile is someone under 18 years of age not previously transferred to the jurisdiction of adult court.

A guardian is a person designated by the court as being responsible for the child in the same manner as a parent (e.g. foster parent).

When a particular juvenile’s jurisdiction has been transferred from juvenile court to adult court, the juvenile is considered to have been declined.

2. Officers Shall Exercise Reasonable Discretion when Determining the Disposition of Juveniles

When choosing between different alternatives, officers will take the following factors into consideration:

  • The nature of the offense
  • The age and circumstance of the offender
  • The mental health of the offender
  • The prior record of the offender
  • The availability of community-based rehabilitation programs
  • The likelihood that the choice will satisfactorily resolve the problem

3. Officers Shall Have Juveniles Transported to Children’s Hospital for Involuntary Commitments

When an officer determines that a juvenile meets the criteria for an involuntary commitment, the juvenile will be sent to Children’s Hospital.

4. Officers Shall Notify Parents of Arrest as soon as Possible

Officers shall make reasonable attempts to contact the parents/guardians of arrested juveniles to advise them of the juvenile’s status and location. This will be documented in the GO Report.

  • Officers shall document the name, date of birth, address and telephone number of the parent/guardian contacted.

5. Juvenile Suspects Require Additional Warnings to Supplement the Miranda Rights

In informing juveniles of their rights, officers shall include the additional warning listed on the current Explanation of Rights (Form 9.28.1).

  • In order to ensure that rights are understood, an officer may ask a juvenile to explain each warning in his or her own words.

6. Parents must be Present for Juveniles Under 12 to Waive Their Rights

A parent or guardian must be present and must waive the rights of a juvenile under the age of 12.

7. Patrol Officers will Obtain Statements for Juvenile Criminal Cases

  • Officer statements
  • Victim statements
  • Witness statements

If the officer is unable to obtain any of the above statements, the reason must be documented in the GO narrative.

8. Identification Section Staff Shall Photograph and Fingerprint all Juvenile Gross Misdemeanor and Felony Arrestees Prior to Release

Before juveniles who have been arrested for a gross misdemeanor or felony can be released, they will be photographed and fingerprinted by the Identification Section. These photos will be maintained in the juvenile database.

  • SPD employees may share photos of juvenile suspects with other SPD employees for work-related purposes.

9. SPD Employees may Share Juvenile Records with Outside Juvenile Justice Agencies that are Actively Investigating the Juvenile

The Department will not release juvenile records to outside agencies for any purpose other than assistance with an active investigation.

  • Per RCW 13.50.010(1)(a), “juvenile justice or care agency” means any of the following: police, diversion units, court, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, detention center, attorney general, the Legislative Children’s Oversight Committee, the Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman, the Department of Social and Health Services and its contracting agencies, schools, persons or public or private agencies having children committed to their custody, and any placement oversight committee created under RCW 72.05.415.