What Should I Do if My Child Is Arrested?

November 21, 2019

If your child is arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, you might wonder what recourse you have as a parent to protect them and free them. Here’s a quick overview from a juvenile criminal defense attorney in Rockford, IL of what to do and what not to do after your child is arrested.

Avoid making these common mistakes

Before we get into what you should do, here are a few things you should definitely not do:

  • Assume their innocence: It’s understandable for parents to want to take their child’s side, and to perhaps be blinded by their emotions and assume their child could not possibly have committed a crime. Sure, there might be a very slight chance your child has been falsely accused, but the greater likelihood is that they actually did commit the offense for which they are being detained. Do not go in with any assumptions about their innocence.
  • Argue with law enforcement: If you do not show proper respect to police, you could end up making the situation even worse for your child. They’re just doing their job—let them go through the process too.
  • Assume their eligibility for bail: Minors do not have the same right to bail as adults, which means judges can hold them as long as they want. It’s a good idea to seek legal counsel to get your child free as soon as possible.

Steps you should take

Now that you have a sense of what not to do when your child is arrested, here are some steps you should take:

  • Know their rights: Here again, working with an attorney can help you understand the rights your child has after an arrest. These rights include a phone call after their arrest, the right to legal counsel, the right to be informed of the charges they’re facing and the right to cross-examine witnesses. As with adults, children cannot be found guilty unless the prosecution can prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.
  • Be as calm as possible: It doesn’t help anyone to get angry. Maintaining a calm, professional demeanor will help your position come across better and will reflect better on your child. This is often easier said than done, but it is crucial.
  • Get support: If your child’s case is going to take a significant amount of time and energy, it can be helpful to find some support to get you through the process. This might include childcare arrangements for other children, counseling services to help you and your child deal with your emotions and support groups for other parents who have had children involved in juvenile court cases.
  • Retain legal counsel: Working with an attorney experienced in criminal defense and juvenile cases is the best way to ensure you’ll get the best results out of your case.

If you’re interested in learning more about the rights your child has after an arrest and the steps you can take as a parent to protect them, we encourage you to contact a juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Rockford, IL at the Law Office of Brendan W. Caver, Ltd. today.

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