When you receive unfortunate news that your child will be facing criminal charges, it’s understandable that you would feel alarmed. However, in this instance, time is of the essence, and what you do next is critical.
If you find yourself in such a situation, here are six critical steps that you need to take:
Talk to your child
When your child gets into a terrible legal situation, a parent’s first instinct is to blow up, maybe panic, which is not the best path to take. You need to calm yourself before you start blowing up in front of your child. More so, if you have the opportunity to talk to them directly after knowing that they’re facing criminal charges.
You need to make sure that you create an atmosphere that will enable you and your child to have a calm and honest conversation. They need to be comfortable enough with you so they will tell the truth and for you to grasp the situation better.
It will be a good idea to write down notes as you are talking so that you can get the facts straight, especially once you’re talking to your lawyer.
Know your child’s rights
When your child is getting arrested, you need to start moving and become proactive with how you’re going to deal with the situation. It’s time to start looking at what your child’s rights are in this situation.
Of course, you also need to realize which processes are legal and which ones aren’t. It is your child’s right to have legal counsel, and they also have a right to talk to their parents.
You also reserve the right to speak to your child. Even if a police officer is the one you’re on a call with, you have a right to ask them to let you talk to your child.
Aside from that, when your child is getting arrested, the police officer should be reading their Miranda Rights. Your child should also know what crime they’re being committed.
Don’t argue with the police
Understandably, emotions are high when you’re seeing your child going through this situation. However, you need to control yourself and ensure that you don’t argue with the police as much as possible.
Responding to this instance by making an outburst may go against your child’s favor in the future.
Of course, you should still observe the police and how they handled your child and the situation. If you find that their handling isn’t up to par or doesn’t seem right, you should ask your attorney to figure out what to do next.
Ask about custody release
Ask your attorney to talk to the judge and convince them to let your child stay out of custody while they’re working on the charges. Of course, it will not guarantee that this will work because it will depend on what charges your child is facing in particular. However, it’s something worth asking your attorney about.
Contact a legal representation
When your child is in custody and can face charges, you should contact your lawyer or a legal representation as soon as possible.
Daniel Schellenberg, an experienced Auckland criminal defense lawyer, suggests contacting your lawyers. This is always a sensible first step.
They will give you legal advice that you can act on depending on what the situation is. At the same time, they can help reassure you by figuring out what will happen to your kid and what the penalties are for the juvenile crime they are facing.
Attend the probation interview
Although done through a phone call, you must attend your child’s probation interview.
If your child is on the way to juvenile hall, make sure that you talk with the probation department. This is crucial, especially if the probation officer deemed that your child should remain there.
Provide all necessary yet non-discriminatory information about your child to ensure that your child will be cared for. This includes medical conditions, medications that your child needs to take, or any disabilities.
However, keep in mind that any information you give will be recorded and sent to the judge and prosecutor handling your child’s case.
We can only imagine the anxiety and worry you’re feeling, knowing that your child may face legal charges. Nonetheless, we suggest that you keep your calm. Reach out to your lawyer, and he can help you get through this ordeal.