Easy Steps to Take When Your Child Is Charged With a Crime

Has your child been charged with a crime? It can be a frustrating time in a parent’s life when your child is dealing with a juvenile crime and its consequences. The most crucial step is to reach out to an experienced juvenile crime lawyer for help handling your child’s case. CJB Law has ample experience representing children and teenagers in Minnesota’s juvenile justice system. 

After your child is charged with a crime, there are some easy steps to follow to ensure their case is resolved quickly and with as few consequences as possible. Unfortunately, there are several crimes that adolescents are often charged with, including theft and vandalism. Continue reading to discover what steps you can take after your child is charged. 

Most Common Juvenile Offenses 

There are a number of offenses that juveniles are commonly charged with. Often they result from peer pressure when kids are in a group, and one bad egg influences the rest to act out of turn. When your child is charged with a crime, you may be surprised and shocked. It’s best to remain calm and offer your support to resolve the case quickly and smoothly. 

The most common juvenile offenses include:

  • Vandalism
  • Graffiti
  • Slashing tires
  • Breaking windows
  • Shoplifting
  • Underage drinking
  • Drug possession
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Simple assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Sexual offenses
  • Domestic violence
  • Truancy
  • Curfew violations
  • Disorderly conduct

Often children and teens lack the maturity to make the right choices. Sometimes these bad decisions can lead to juvenile crime, such as the ones listed above. If your child has been sentenced with one of the above crimes or another offense, reach out to a juvenile crime attorney immediately.

Punishments for Juvenile Crimes 

It’s essential to understand the potential punishments before you learn what to do after your child is charged with a crime. Thankfully, most minor juvenile offenses do not come with jail time. Rehabilitation and diversion programs are a priority in the United States so that juveniles can get the help they need after committing a crime. 

There are several ways your child could be sentenced after committing an offense. Here are a few of the punishments the court may consider:

  • Home confinement: Your child will be required to wear a tracking device at all times.
  • Juvenile diversion programs: Pre-trial programs that try to remedy bad behavior before an offender is placed in the system. Charges may be dropped after completion.
  • Community service: Your child may be asked to complete service hours as part of their probationary terms. 
  • Foster or group homes: If your child’s bad behavior results from the current home situation, they may be placed in a foster or group home for a period of rehabilitation.
  • Juvenile detention facilities: Your child may be required to complete their sentence at a facility with other young offenders, including counseling sessions, rehab programs, and even school.
  • Adult prison: In some extreme cases, teenagers can be charged in adult court and placed in a state prison facility or county jail. 

 

What to Do After Your Child Is Charged 

It can be a scary time after your child is charged with a crime. Most parents aren’t prepared to deal with the legal proceedings, court cases, and sentences that follow. There are some simple steps to take after your child is charged with a juvenile offense. These steps are aimed to help you deal with the aftermath of your child’s charge so that you can come out on the other side stronger than before.

Know Your Child’s Rights

Not many parents are well-versed in what to do after their child commits a crime. It’s crucial to know your child’s rights so that a charge doesn’t come as a result of police misconduct or other errors that can occur when a child is charged with a crime. Here are a few of the rights your child has, so you are aware of what is allowed and what is not:

  • The police must have probable cause to search a minor. 
  • A minor has the right to a phone call after an arrest. 
  • The police must read the Miranda Rights to all suspects.
  • A minor has no right to seek bail and can be held for an indefinite period.
  • A juvenile has a right to counsel.
  • Your child must be provided with a notice of any charges they face. 
  • A juvenile has the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses. 
  • A minor cannot be forced to testify against themself.
  • Charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Don’t Argue With Police

If you are in a situation where you are present when your child is charged with a crime, or you interact with police after the fact, it’s crucial to stay calm and not get agitated. If you or another parent or family member starts arguing with the police, it will only make the situation worse for your child. 

Hire a Lawyer

Hiring a knowledgeable juvenile crime lawyer is the most important step after your child is charged with a crime. They can help you navigate the legal system, decide on the best course of action for your child’s case, and ensure your child receives the best possible outcome. Avoiding time in a juvenile detention center is often crucial, as is protecting your child’s reputation so they can have a successful future, free of blemishes on their legal record. 

Find Support

It can be overwhelming to deal with your child’s charges. Seek support from a group of parents who are going through similar issues so that you have an outlet to speak to about your child. Other parents may be able to share advice from their similar experiences, and you can remain supportive of your child without burdening them with your worries.

Talk to a Counselor

If necessary, seek advice from a counselor or therapist on dealing with your child’s charges. To show up for your child during their time of need, you have to have a clear head and remain calm. Speaking to a counselor or therapist can significantly help you with this. It may also help your child to speak to someone about their charges and how they can move forward. 

Dealing With Your Child’s Offenses

When your child is charged with a crime, it can be a frustrating and confusing experience. The lawyers at CJB law know how hard it can be to try and support your child while navigating through their legal case. We are here to offer explanations and give you trustworthy legal counsel during this time, resulting in the best possible outcome for your child. Contact CJB Law today to set up a consultation to discuss your child’s juvenile offense case.