Criminal charges can be scary and demoralizing for a minor or young adult. There is the real possibility that this episode will adversely affect your child’s future.
Summer vacation is often a season of heart break as mischief and misbehavior take over with the kids. Not all kids, but many will end up in situations they never imagined. Outside of setting clear boundaries on your expectation of behavior, understand what to do if the worst case scenario happens.
The number one goal is to prevent those consequences.
First deal with the following legal questions
- Where is your child being held and by whom?
- What exactly are the accusations or criminal charges?
- Is your child detained for questioning or formally arrested?
- Will your child be released to you? Will you need to post bond?
- When is the first court date?
- Is your child being charged as an adult for a serious felony?
Parents often show up at the police department looking for their children, especially these days, when cell phones make communication so fast.There is no such thing as a right to a phone call, either, although in most cases a juvenile is allowed to make a call—or police will call parents—as long as the timing would not interfere with an investigation.
Pretty much the same things you would do yourself, but the most important one is to teach your child to tell the arresting police officer, “I want a lawyer.”
Teach the child not to touch or gesture towards the police. Teach them to put their hands on their heads when they see a police officer. Again, make it a game. “What do we do when we see a nice policeman? We put our hands on our heads!”
As they get older, teach them the following things:
Don’t argue with the police. That’s what the lawyer is for.