What to Do If Your Child is Arrested and Charged With a Crime
As a parent, getting a phone call telling you that your child has been seriously hurt is one of your worst nightmares. Closely following is a call telling you that your child has been arrested and charged with a crime. All the work you and your child have done building the foundation for a bright future may suddenly be at risk. A conviction could threaten employment and educational opportunities and divert him or her from the positive path they were on.
One thing for sure is that your child needs your help, guidance, and support immediately. As worried and scared as you may be, your child is feeling even more so. That’s why it is so important for parents to act calmly and thoughtfully if their child has been charged with a crime. They need to take steps to protect their child’s rights and make choices that can best position them for a successful outcome to their ordeal.
Here are some tips for navigating the frightening and confusing aftermath of that dreaded phone call:
Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer right now.
From the moment your child first has contact with the police, they can say or do things which can make their bad situation even worse. Fear, a lack of knowledge about their rights, and a desire to explain themselves or talk their way out of it may lead to damaging admissions that prosecutors can use against them. The sooner an attorney is representing your child, the sooner all of you can get the direction and guidance that can protect their rights and provide you with peace of mind.
Tell them not to speak with police until their lawyer arrives.
You’ve seen enough TV and movies to know that you have the right to remain silent, but your child may not know their constitutional rights. Police will encourage their child to talk, telling them it will make things easier or intimidating them with an aggressive attitude. Advise your child to respectfully tell the officers that they are exercising their right to remain silent and won’t answer any more questions until their lawyer arrives.
Address any underlying issues.
Sometimes, an arrest and criminal charge are the result of a bad choice or a brief lapse in judgment. But in other situations, larger issues may be to blame, such as substance abuse, mental illness, or anger management issues. In these situations, addressing the issues that led your child to the police station is as important as your efforts to get them out of the police station.
Be there for them.
There are practical issues that you need to address when your child is arrested, but don’t ignore the emotional issues. Your child may be scared or feel guilty about disappointing you. While you may be justifiably upset about what your child did or even if you feel that your child is being unjustly treated, make sure they know that they have your love and support, that you will protect them, and that everything is going to be okay.
If your child has been charged with a crime in New York City, please call (718) 852-6763 to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation with one of Epstein & Conroy’s experienced Brooklyn criminal defense attorneys now.
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