Kids get into trouble – it happens. They experiment, push boundaries, and ultimately, are just looking for ways to have fun with their friends. But sometimes, the fun goes too far. They drink alcohol at a Sweet 16 party. They try using drugs during their first college football game. If they then drive while intoxicated, a mistake may turn into a life-altering consequence. At Aramjoo Law Firm, we understand that parenting a teen or 20-something can be hard – and we’re here to help if your child gets arrested.
When your child gets in trouble, it can be easy to feel overcome with panic, worry, or fear. You’re a parent; it’s your job to worry. But, when it comes to
dealing with law enforcement, it’s important to stay calm. The way you and your child react to the situation can have a lasting impact, so we’ve compiled a list of the five key considerations to keep in mind if your child gets arrested.
Don’t Speak to the Police
The police can – and will – use anything your child says against them in court. And if they were arrested with friends, there’s a good chance the police will try to pit the group against each other while probing for answers. Remind your child that it is in their best interest – and their right – to remain silent and consult an attorney.
Avoid Using a Bail Bondsman
Especially for parents dealing with a child who has been arrested, your first instinct may be to work with a bail bondsman in order to have your child released from custody quickly. Unfortunately, what many don’t realize is that using a bail bondsman can have consequences. The money paid to a bail bondsman is his money to keep. It’s the payment he receives to ensure the defendant comes to court. Cash bonds, if able to be posted, are monies that belong to the defendant and can be used to pay court costs and fines. You should post bail yourself if possible and consult with your attorney on alternative options to a bail bondsman.
Hire an Attorney
Even (and especially) as a minor, your child has the right to an attorney. If your family cannot afford one, a court appointed attorney will be provided to you. If you can afford an attorney, make sure to do your research to find one with experience in juvenile law and criminal defense. Once you secure an attorney, make sure to have whatever conversations are necessary to ensure you are familiar and aware of the process of what’s next. Having a good understanding of how cases progress can help resolve some of the nerves of having to go through it.
Once your child is home safely, make sure to continue to recommend remaining silent. Statements given to anyone, even a loved one, can be used against the defendant in court later. Have your child tell their attorney what the circumstances were with great specificity. As their parent, your child is going to need your support, going through criminal and juvenile matters is often stressful for all involved.
Gather and Review Discovery to Prepare the Case
In a criminal trial, discovery is a process where information may be gathered to fully understand what will be used against a defendant in court. It is extremely important for your child to be honest during these initial meetings with their attorney. Sometimes, kids think that leaving out information will help them get into less trouble, but in this case, it will only hurt them. Remember, just like you don’t want to see your child in trouble, they may be anxious about revealing the whole truth because they don’t want you to see them in a bad light. In many cases, children withhold information because they think it will disappoint or upset their parents. Encourage your child to tell their lawyer absolutely everything so that the attorney is not blindsided in court.
Plan a Course of Action
When all is said and done, the most important thing is the health and safety of your child. If underlying issues need to be resolved, working on a plan of action to resolve those issues can be very helpful. If drug or alcohol use is an ongoing issue, maybe this means sending your child to a rehabilitation program. If this was a one-time incident that went too far, maybe this means arranging volunteer hours. As their parent, you know your child best and what course of action is appropriate. However, you should never just pretend it didn’t happen. Make it clear to your child that while their behavior may have been unacceptable, they should also use it as a learning experience moving forward.
At Aramjoo Law Firm, we want the best for you and your family. If your child gets arrested, we are here to help. We know that this is an emotional and stressful time, and we are committed to helping you and your child get through it.
Contact us to start a conversation today.