The law allows the police in Georgia to freely approach a child and learn about their involvement in a crime. The child also has the right to choose to answer the questions or not. They can either request a parent or lawyer to be present.
A parent or lawyer may also decide whether the child should answer the questions. The child can request to call a parent in the middle of questioning, and the police are required by law to abide.
The police may use any informal conversation done by the police and a child while not under arrest against the child in court. It is mainly because the information was voluntary. Any information obtained through the forceful coercion of the child to admitting to a crime against their will is not relevant in a law court. The fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects anyone from forcefully admitting to a crime.
When the police take a child into custody and interrogate them, they first need to advise them on their Miranda rights before collecting any statements. Only then can the reports be considered in a law court. The Miranda rights claim that anyone has the right to remain silent and consult with an attorney before presenting any information to the police. Any information a child gives without being told their Miranda rights can only be used to help with the case but not incriminate the child.
When a child is arrested and not allowed to call the parents or an attorney, the parents may file a complaint against the police department for violating the child’s rights.