A frightening experiences a parent can experience is when their child is arrested for a juvenile crime. Whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony, parents of children charged with crimes want nothing more than to protect their child’s future. Here’s what you can do if your child was arrested.
Instruct Your Child Not to Speak
Just like an adult, a juvenile has the right to remain silent. Instruct your child that he or she should absolutely invoke that right and defer to parents or an attorney for answers. Inform them that even if law enforcement attempts to pressure them into answering questions, they don’t have to say anything. The police cannot hurt them or charge them with more crimes if they do not answer questions.
Ensure that you are available to attend all investigations, hearings, and appointments that relate to your child’s case. Not only will you support your child emotionally with your presence, but you’ll also learn important facts about the case that could come into play later. Your child likely doesn’t understand the full impact of what is going on. Also, they may not understand what attorneys or judges are saying about the case. Your child relies on you to let them know where they stand and what they can expect next. The best way to do that is to be present, listen, and communicate with your child.
Contact a Professional
If your child is arrested for a crime, the most important thing to do to protect their rights and future is to reach out to a professional. A criminal defense attorney can determine what defense strategies are most likely to be successful. An attorney can also guide you and your child through the legal system.
At Whitehead Law, we have worked with many juveniles accused of crimes. We successfully helped them to dismiss or reduce the charges against them dismissed to avoid incarceration. Often, even when convicted, a juvenile will not have to “do time” — instead, alternative consequences like mandatory counseling, probation, and other rehabilitative action are considered more heavily in juvenile cases.
Contact Whitehead Law to set up an appointment for a consultation to discuss the details of your child’s case and to find out what your next step should be. Call now at (302) 248-2000.