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Juvenile Crime: What to Know if Your Child Has Been Arrested

juvenile crimeNo parent wants to learn that their child has been arrested.  But, unfortunately, it happens every day.  If your child has been arrested for a juvenile crime, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney right away.  When a parent hears that their child has been arrested they immediately experience a wide array of emotions – fear, anger, frustration, sadness.  But, it is important that parents not allow those emotions to cloud their judgement during a crucial moment.  If your child has been arrested for a juvenile crime, here is what you need to know:

  • Parental Responsibility for Juvenile Crime
    • A parent should know that they may be held responsible, to some degree, for their child’s action. This is not always the case and it varies significantly depending on the crime and the state in which the crime is committed.  Generally speaking, what it comes down to is whether or not the parents were being negligent in their parental responsibilities.  Did the parent know that a crime would be committed or did they not know because they were being negligent?  If so, a parent could be held financially responsible for the acts of the child – i.e. if a child vandalizes a property.
  • Hire a Lawyer
    • Before your child says anything to the police, it is important to hire a lawyer for guidance. Your lawyer will help you navigate the complicated juvenile legal and court system so that they can get the best outcome in their case.
  • Plead the 5th
    • If your child has been arrested, whether before or after being read their Miranda Rights, it is important that they be very careful about what they say. Anything they say could end up being incriminating and detrimental to their case.  It is best to be respectful and politely express your desire to wait to answer any questions until your lawyer has arrived.
  • Process
    • After your child has been detained and taken to a juvenile detention facility, your child will be processed and then, depending on the type and severity of the crime, kept or released into parental custody.
  • Notice to Appear
    • Your child will be issued a notice to appear in court. Be in contact with your lawyer to determine the next best steps and explore all potential options.
  • Court
    • When you work with an knowledgeable criminal defense attorney that has experience in juvenile crimes, you will either work out a plea deal or go to court. In many cases, a plea deal can be reached so that no jail time is required and sometimes so that there is no record of the arrest.  Sometimes things like counseling or community service will be part of a plea deal.  In other circumstances, a case will go to trial and your attorney will vigilantly represent your child to get the best possible outcome in their juvenile crime case.
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