New Juvenile Attorney Law Impacting Local Investigations
Every year many juveniles are arrested in Yakima County for a variety of crimes including murder and assault.
County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says the law will change investigations
Now Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic says a new state law will make it tough to investigate the crimes. The new law requires an attorney talk with a juvenile suspect before police ask any questions. Brusic says that means juvenile suspects won't be talking because attorney's will tell them to remain silent.
Defense attorneys say the law is exactly what was needed in the state
Defense attorney's disagree saying the new law gives more power to juveniles who can sometimes be swayed into saying things that can be used against them in court. The new law is part of a package of police reforms the legislature passed in 2020. The law has some exceptions including when someone's life is in danger or when the juvenile is a involved in human trafficking.
Adult offenders won't get the same protection
Adult offenders don't get the same protection. Anyone over 18 is advised they have a right to an attorney during questioning by police.
Brusic says while he's fully in support of juveniles having a right to an attorney he's concerned this new law will hurt investigations into serious crimes in the Yakima Valley.