If you’re a parent, the most frightening thing that can happen to you is something happening to your child, no matter the age. Most parents are never prepared to learn that their child has been arrested. They panic and wonder what the next steps should be. Many have questions about their child’s situation and want to do everything they can to keep their child safe, and fix the problem. Unlike everyday problems that arise with parents and children, an arrest is not an easily fixable situation. This loss of control can make many parents feel helpless. It’s important to know your next steps in your child’s arrest. This can help both parents and children keep a cool head and prepare to take on the problem logically.
First and foremost, remain calm. Though the arrest of a child can feel scary, it’s important to keep yourself as even-tempered as possible. Panic, anger, and aggravation can make an already confusing situation even more stressful.
DO NOT ACT AS AN ATTORNEY FOR YOUR CHILD
Every parent feels that they know what is best and right for their child, but when it comes to legal action, it is vital to seek the representation of an experienced attorney. While you may believe you’re helping your child by acting as their advocate, you could do irreparable damage to their case unbeknownst to you. Police will try to question your child as soon as possible; contact an attorney before you speak to anyone. You might say something unwittingly to or in the presence of the police that could be used against your child in his or her case. It is vital that you and your child do not speak to the police until you’ve secured legal representation. Remember that everything your child says can be used against them in court. A professional attorney knows how to approach an arrest, your child’s legal rights, and how to work with the police.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MY CHILD?
Though the legal process may feel entirely out of your hands, securing an experienced attorney is the first and best step in aiding your child through their arrest. When first meeting with your attorney, they will likely ask you a number of questions regarding your child’s arrest. It is important that you and your child be open and honest with your attorney; they are here to help you both. In meeting with your attorney make sure to provide all information that might be helpful for your child including character witnesses, or people who can attest to your child’s good reputation such as coaches, professors, and mentors. Also, collect any awards, certificates, or honors that pertain to your child’s good academic standing. Your attorney will help you every step of the way, preparing both you and your child for his or her court dates. The criminal proceedings will be explained so you know what to expect when appearing in court. Your attorney will also prepare you with possible outcomes so you are as equipped as possible.
When your child is involved in something scary, it can feel even more frightening for you as the parent, but it is important to remember that there are professionals who can help. You might fear for your child’s future or wonder how they found themselves in this situation in the first place, but just know that by working with an experienced attorney, you are ensuring the best possible outcome for you child.