It is pretty hard to imagine your child being charged with a crime as a parent. That is why most parents are shocked when this happens.
However, it would be best if you acted quickly to protect your child’s future and legal rights. You should not panic when your child gets into trouble with the law if possible.
Instead, focus on taking the right steps to help your child deal with the charges legally and emotionally.
Seek an Attorney
When your child is charged with a criminal case, the first thing you should do is get a criminal defense attorney. If your child is still being detained by the time you are contacted, you should tell the infuser that you do not want them to speak to your child without the presence of an attorney.
In addition, your child is entitled to have their Miranda Rights read to them, so ask them to invoke Miranda and let your attorney be present. Children frequently could speak liberally to the police and help build the case against themselves out of fear.
You should hire an attorney regardless of where your child is being held, in a juvenile detention center, returned to your care, or placed in home confinement. An attorney would help you and your child through the process.
The attorney would also contact the prosecuting authority to try and get your child into any of the available intervention programs. Ensure that you get an attorney specializing in juvenile delinquency since quite a few understand and work in this system.
Ensure you are Present at Every Hearing
The next thing you should do is ensure that you are present at every court hearing. If your child is detained, the first court appearance will be the day after they are arrested, irrespective of the location.
This hearing is called the detention hearing or first appearance. The judge will determine if there was probable cause for the detention or arrest of your child.
If the court finds the cause, you could be ordered to remain in home detention where the child would always be home unless at school or secure detention in a juvenile detention facility for some days. Therefore, you have to ensure that your child is present at every court hearing throughout the process.
Ask What to Expect
It would be best if you asked about the process that your child will face. Being charged with a crime can be frightening and stressful.
You and your child might feel better if you expect as your child is being processed through the criminal justice system. Your child’s attorney will be able to provide a detailed explanation of what you can expect based on the details and charges of your child’s case.
It would be best if you kept asking questions until you understood the process, your child’s legal rights, and what you can do to help your child’s defense.
Know About Sentencing Alternatives and Intervention Programs
Several courts throughout the US have alternatives to sentencing and intervention programs for juveniles. It would be best if you talked to your child’s lawyer about your child’s option of avoiding a criminal conviction.
Intervention programs usually vary. The program would entail your child maintaining school attendance or participating in community service in most cases.
Ensure that you and your child understand every alternative sentencing or intervention program requirement. In addition, your child should understand the consequences of not following or completing the intervention program.
Enter A Plea
If a formal charge is charged against your child, you and your child should be prepared to enter a plea. The next court hearing would be the arraignment.
This is where your child would enter a plea of being guilty or not guilty or no contest. After that, there would be a date set for a trial or pre-trial. Or, if the plea is entered at the arrangement hearing, your child would have to go starlight to the sentencing phase.
Let Your Child Speak with a Counselor or Therapist
There could be reasons why your child committed a crime. In some cases, therapy or counseling would help identify the issues that contributed to your child’s trouble with the law.
That’s a Wrap
Being a parent with a hold involved in a criminal case is not a problem that any parent wants to face. The best thing that you can do as a parent is to find a criminal defense attorney well versed and experienced in children’s cases.
The attorney should also be able to work directly with you and answer your questions within your financial capabilities.