What to Do When Your Child is Arrested
If there is one role you can’t ever retire from, it’s being a parent. No matter what your profession is, time will come that you have to rescind your role. No matter what position you have at your job, time will come for you to step down and let another person give it a go. However, once you become a parent of a child, there’s no turning back. You can’t just retire from being their mom or dad (or both). No matter how old your children get, you will still have that same love, care, and affection for them.
This is why hearing news about your child getting arrested is definitely going to be devastating. You don’t even need to have a reason for feeling that way. It’s just a little different when it happens before they’re legally even allowed to be responsible for themselves. When it comes to juvenile cases, it is usually the parents who suffer the heavy blow. Here’s an interesting article on the topic: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/01/the-cost-of-keeping-juveniles-in-adult-prisons/423201/.
As previously mentioned, children under the age of 18 are still their parents’ responsibility. This means that depending on the degree of their offense, they cannot be put behind bars yet. There’s a separate detaining facility for juvenile offenders. Only a few grave cases do not have age restrictions but smaller offenses like petty theft or illegal driving (or DUI with no casualties) can be resolved through penalties, fines, and rendering time in juvenile facilities. However, even if the law is a little forgiving when it comes to juvenile delinquents, this does not mean it’s easy for parents to hear that their children got detained for an illegal activity. Read more about the juvenile law here.
So if ever this happens to you, know that the first thing you should do is not to panic. Instead, you have to approach the situation calmly and systematically. Here’s what you should do as soon as you receive news of your child’s arrest:
Remain Calm & Contact Your Lawyer
Nothing good ever comes from panicking. I know that it’s a very big deal and that you’re experiencing a lot of stress from the sudden turn of events but it’s not like being all panicky about it is going to help. So instead of pacing back and forth and accomplishing less by doing so, keep yourself together. Collect and organize your thoughts. Then, call your lawyer.
Having a professional with you to work out the problem is definitely better than blindly charging into the police station. There is only so much you can do. With a professional’s help, you can systematically deal with the issue at hand. You can avoid making rash decisions based on your heightened emotions too. Seeking legal advice is the first thing you must always do.
Talk To The Police To Discuss The Case
Together with your family lawyer, proceed to the precinct where your child is being held. And without losing your composure, ask to speak to the person-in-charge or to a police officer about the event that transpired. Do not let them spare any details. Ask them why exactly your child is being detained. It’s okay to worry about how this experience will affect your child but keep in mind that your main priority is to get him out ASAP. Acting on your emotions or throwing a fit because of disbelief and confusion is not going to make things right.
Ask your lawyer whether the law is acting on fair grounds as soon as the situation has been disclosed to you.
Ask The Authorities To Disclose Your Options (In The Presence Of Your Lawyer)
Now, time to move on from the problem at hand. Do not dwell too much on what has happened. Stop entertaining thoughts of denial like “That isn’t my kid” or “He would never do that.” Whatever happened can be thoroughly explained later. If your child really was wrongly accused for something he didn’t do or there really wasn’t a violation of the law in the first place, you can always set the score with the people responsible later on. What you have to focus now is finding a way to get your kid out. Without asking too many questions and with your lawyer’s advice, ask for your options.
Since your kid is too young to be held responsible for his own actions anyway, you should ask the authorities about the next step – calmly. It’s not like they can detain him forever. If a bail is required or a certain penalty must be put in place, you have to know. You must also get in contact with bail bonds professionals should you opt for bond financing. This is how you move forward. This is how you can wriggle out of the bad situation fast.
After The Case Is Closed & Resolved, Help Your Child Seek Counselling
Once everything is settled (and I have faith that it will be), don’t forget to sign your child up for professional counselling or de-briefing. Remember that experiences like this can have a significant impact in your child’s mental well-being. Whether he is really at fault or not, it is wise to have him talk to a professional to decompress his emotions about the whole experience. Being detained for an illegal offense is not a walk in the park. However small, it’s bound to leave a mark so make sure that you help your beloved get through it.
Sometimes, it’s all about giving the right guidance.