Unfortunately, kids are notorious for getting into trouble. Sometimes a minor brush with the law is just a reflection of a momentary lapse in judgment, where other times it’s an ominous sign of a criminal career.
The moment your son or daughter is arrested for a crime is the point in time when important decisive action as a parent can play a pivotal role in your child’s future. Yes, you can let them get hauled off to a juvenile detention center and hope that it will teach them a much needed lessen. But what if that tough lesson has the opposite effect of what you had originally intended?
Teens and young adults are very impressionable, and that’s probably what got your son or daughter into trouble in the first place. If they are sent to a juvenile detention facility or someplace worse, they will have more exposure to the wrong types of people. They will be exposed to other youth with emotional and psychological problems. Many of these teens are from broken homes, are victims of child abuse and are already walking down the path of corruption and immorality. Do you really want your child befriending such personalities?
Juvenile crimes are the same as adult criminal offenses; however, they are committed by people below the age of 18. Common juvenile offenses include assault and battery, vandalism, theft crimes, trespassing and sex crimes.
The juvenile court is separate from the adult court. Any proceedings that are dealt with in the juvenile court are not considered criminal cases; therefore, delinquency would not constitute a criminal conviction. This does not mean that your child will not be subject to penalties. If your child is found guilty they can be subject to juvenile detention, large monetary fines (which the parent typically pays), and mandatory counseling. Your child can also be ordered to switch schools or they might be expelled from their existing school.
In more serious offenses, your son or daughter might be deferred to adult court. Doing so is entirely dependent on the age of your child, their history and the nature of the crime. Furthermore, if your child is convicted in the adult court system, their records cannot usually be sealed. If your child is tried as an adult, he or she could face adult penalties. This is especially true in homicide type charges. A criminal conviction could have a negative impact on your child’s ability to get into college, obtain financial aid or get into the military. It can also affect their ability to obtain or maintain their driver’s license or find employment or housing in the future.
As you can see, if your son or daughter has been arrested a bad situation can become much worse. The best thing for you to do as a parent is speak to a criminal defense attorney. If they can keep your child’s case out of the adult court system, then their records may be able to be sealed and thus, keep their future opportunities open. Do not hesitate to ask for help when you and your family need it most, contact a compassionate, yet aggressive criminal defense lawyer today.