Life can be full of ups and downs. Change is here to stay, and nobody is perfect. If our child has allegedly done something wrong, it can come as a huge shock. Our responses can be understandably emotional.
Whatever has happened, however, our child will need our support at this time more than ever. Let’s face it: we’ve all done things in our past that we regret. It’s important to remember that during the journey that lies ahead. This article sets out some of the key things you need to do, should your child be arrested.
Appoint A Lawyer
This needs to be done on day one. The court process will be different for a juvenile than it would be for an adult. When choosing a criminal defense attorney, find one who works with young people, and who has had plenty of experience and success in this area. They will try to stop your child from getting a juvenile court record and seek to get him released from pre-adjudication detention.
Some people leap into the blame game when there is an arrest. They may blame their child or their friends for being a bad influence. Some parents turn inwards and blame their own failures. Others want to find the person making the accusation and have a go at them.
If parents are going to be the best version of themselves during this time, they should stay calm. The child will need reassuring, and there will be no power in telling your child to stay self-controlled if you aren’t.
Go To Your Child
Find out where your child is being kept and provide your support. Let them relax that you are not just there to rebuke them. Find out all you can from your child about what actually occurred. It’s important to hear this before other parties give their side of the story.
Juveniles always have a right to a lawyer, and it would be unwise to proceed without the help of a legal advocate. Advise your child not to make a statement to the police until a lawyer is present.
Put All The Documents Together
For the legal proceedings to run smoothly, it’s important to have everything ready to hand. Keep it in a folder. It should include documentation that provides a good picture of the child’s character. This could come from teachers, gym coaches, youth leaders, church staff, and so on.
Also collate the documentation relating to the arrest, the police reports, and all court information. If people connected to the child’s mental health are involved, their assessments will also be needed.
Support Your Child And The Lawyer
Be there for your child during each part of the legal process. Keep closely connected to the lawyer too. They will be speaking to the police and the prosecution on your child’s behalf.
It is important to understand that the lawyer is working on behalf of your child, rather than you. They will follow your child’s wishes only, and not tell you anything your child doesn’t wish you to know.
This is a difficult process, but with the right support, the best outcome can hopefully be achieved. Your child will remember your support and this may well bring you both closer together.