What To Do If Your Child Is Arrested
Here’s what to do if your child is arrested. Read on to learn everything!
Tips For Handling The Arrest Of One Of Your Children
Let’s face it. If you’re child is arrested, we know you’re probably nervous wreck. A bunch of things may be going on in our mind, including:
- Is it something I could have prevented?
- Is he or she ok?
- What is the crime my kid has been arrested for?
- Should I consider getting my child professional help?
- Does he or she require immediate intervention?
- Did I play a role in his or her arrest?
- Is there any reflection on me as a parent with the crime and what happened?
It’s Not Uncommon For Young People To Get In Trouble
Not to minimize the situation any further, but the truth of the matter is that it’s not uncommon for young people to get arrested and get themselves in trouble every now and again. It’s the type of trouble your child is involved in that may be cause for greater concern.
The way that kids and young adults learn is through making mistakes. Unfortunately and for some people this means getting arrested.
So you just received a phone call and your child has been arrested, now what? Well read on to learn more about ‘what to do if your child is arrested’.
Crimes Your Child May Get Arrested For
There are several categories of crimes that one’s child may get arrested for. Some are more common than others.
Here we will go over the types of crimes you as a parent may encounter and how you should handle such an arrest.
Shoplifting tends to be somewhat of a gateway crime. Whether your child is caught shoplifting at Walmart or anywhere else, it can indicate some larger problems. So pay attention to other telltale signs that your son or daughter might need additional intervention.
DWI charges are quite common, unfortunately. And the truth is you don’t have to be a hardened criminal to get caught drinking and driving. Many people convicted of a DWI offense are just normal, everyday people who made a bad decision. This is not to minimize the charges but to put things in perspective.
The trick with getting caught with a DWI is to learn from the mistake. Most individuals are able to do that. However, if an individual does not learn from his or her mistake, it could indicate a much larger problem unfortunately.
It’s not uncommon for young people to get slapped with drug charges. Unfortunately, many young people use drugs and go through an experimentation phase. As dangerous as this is, you should be aware and keep as calm and sane as you can. Keep your eyes on your child and if you notice changes in behavior it might be time to ask for help.
Assault can get bundled into a multitude of categories. While violence is never a good thing, each case should be carefully considered. Ask yourself these questions:
- Has my child exhibited any tendencies towards violence in the past?
- Do the assaults indicate that my child violates the rights of others and doesn’t have proper boundaries?
- Is the assault a sexual assault or something of that nature?
Once you have looked at all the facts, it’s easier to judge the nature of the crime. As with recent shootings, some violence can be predicted beforehand. Just keep your eyes open.
5 Important Tips For Handling A Loved One’s Arrest
Keep your composure
Take a deep breath, yes you have so many questions and no answers – that is okay. It is important to keep it together, and head straight to the police station. Handle the situation with patience and peace, anger will only make the situation worse.
Throughout this process it is important to remember that the police are simply doing their job, that kids make mistakes and that the way you handle the situation could impact the outcome.
When you arrive at the station the first thing you will want to do is see your child, but this may not be possible as every state has different regulations. This is where all the legal restrictions begin and where you fall into uncharted territory. That is why the next step is extremely critical, you must hire an attorney.
Hire an attorney
The most crucial step in this entire process is to hire an attorney. You will want to go with a criminal defense attorney near you depending on the charges and your location.
There have been cases after cases where parents tried to stand in as a lawyer, and fails almost every time. When it comes to juvenile matters, the laws vary to an extent. Not only must you hire a criminal defense attorney, but it should be someone who is specialized in juvenile law. An individual who understands the rights of minors, and can navigate the case with prevalent subject matter knowledge.
If the state law permits, when you arrive at the station request that your child does not participate in an interview without their lawyer present. Some states may let you be present during the initial interview, but as stated above it is important to have a lawyer that practices and understands juvenile law.
Assess the arrest
Although the attorney will do a majority of the legal work, it is important for you to assess every part of the case. It is important to collect every side of the story and understand every legal charge that has been inflicted upon your child. You want to understand what you need to ask your child when you finally have time to have an unmonitored and honest conversation.
You need to be able to mediate and connect the lawyer and your child, this way you can prepare for any challenge that may appear in court and have your story dialed in. Keep in mind the more knowledgeable you are of all the charges, the better equipped you will be to ask your child the right questions and provide valuable information to the attorney.
Talk with your child
The next step in this process is to hear your child’s side of what happened. It is important to be receptive and understanding of everything they are saying. Ask questions as needed to fill in the gaps, it is important to know all the individuals involved and the areas where the incident took place. This will help piece together witnesses and potential camera footage that may help the case.
A great tip when sitting down to discuss the arrest with your child is to make sure you choose a comfortable time and place to chat. You want your child to feel as safe as possible to be able to give you as many details as they can.
After understanding the charges filed and hearing your child’s story, it is important to address if it is necessary for your child to enroll in any intervention programs. There are a variety of reasons for a child to get arrested, ranging from DUI to robbery to drug possession. With many juvenile cases, an intervention program will be recommended by the judge. You may want to do research yourself looking at options like therapy, rehabilitation programs or mentorships. Addressing any problem your child may be facing now, will help with the trauma from the arrest and prevent anything like this from happening again.
Let’s recap here, ‘what to do if your child is arrested’ follow these steps:
- Take a deep breath and keep your cool.
- Go to the police station.
- Ask to see your child.
- Let the investigating officer know that a lawyer must be present prior to an interview.
- Hire an attorney that specializes in juvenile law.
- Assess the arrest yourself, understand all the charges.
- Speak with your child, tell them you love them and ask for the truth.
- Evaluate with all necessary stakeholders whether intervention is needed for your child.
- And again, take a breath and remind your child you love them.
Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney such as Barkemeyer Law Firm is the first step to dealing with the challenges of an arrest. Barkemeyer Law Firm can help with a multitude of charges. Check out our locations page to see if we are in your area.
All in all ‘if your child is arrested’ the most important thing to do is hire an attorney.