Attempting to handle a juvenile arrest without the advice of a trained attorney experienced in juvenile criminal defense can do more harm than good. For example, even if your child was present, but not directly involved while a crime was being committed, he or she can potentially be charged with aiding and abetting, and potentially face serious and lasting criminal penalties. If your child admits to being present for the crime, even while trying to point out that he or she didn’t take part, your child may actually be confessing to aiding and abetting. Similarly, any information you give the police about your child can be used to build a case against your child, even if your intent was to defend him or her.
Police know how to interrogate and ask the right questions to get you or your child to make incriminating statements. This is why it is so important to work with a lawyer as quickly as possible, and to make sure that an attorney is present during any questioning. A polite but strong statement that you and your child have nothing to say until a lawyer is present can make all the difference in your child’s case.
At the Law Office of F. Clayton Tyler P.A., I provide straight talk and honest answers. I have seen time and again how a well-intentioned parent accidently makes a bad situation worse by trying to fix things on his or her own. Whether you believe your son or daughter has done something wrong or not, the first thing you should do when your child is arrested is talk to a lawyer – before telling your child to talk to the police.
The juvenile justice system gives a trained attorney broad opportunities to find solutions that will protect your child and potentially avoid harsh penalties. However, involvement in the juvenile justice system can have significant and lasting penalties. Many parents wrongly believe that a juvenile conviction is essentially wiped away when the child turns 18.
The reality is that a juvenile criminal conviction can have permanent consequences.
It can affect your child’s ability to get an education, to get a job, to get a loan, or to get a home. It can be a factor in any future arrest, and seriously affect how law enforcement and prosecutors deal with your child. When your child is involved with law enforcement, the decisions you make now can have an impact that lasts decades.
Don’t underestimate the damage that can be done if a juvenile is adjudicated as a delinquent. That record can be used against a person throughout his or her adult life and can be an aggravating factor if he or she is later charged with or investigated for a serious crime.
Visit my website at www.fctyler.com for more information on my criminal and juvenile defense practice, or call my office today at 612-333-7309 to schedule a free initial consultation and case review to discuss your specific case.