As a parent, you know that your children will make mistakes. It's your hope that they never break the law, but this could happen at some point. A child could get caught up in drugs. A child could steal something from a local store.
If the authorities catch your child breaking the law, it won't be long before you find out. At that point, you need to learn more about their charges and the steps you can take to help and protect your child.
Some crimes must be reported to authorities, or else you could find yourself liable for their actions. These include:
- Gun crimes
- Truancy (when your child skips school)
- Underage driving under the influence (DUI)
There is nothing easy about turning your child into the authorities, but this may be just what they need to straighten out their life and avoid even more serious troubles down the road.
How you can help
Imagine a situation in which you learn that your child has committed a crime. As disappointed as you may be, there are steps you can take to help:
- Learn more about the crime: Not all crimes are the same, so you need to focus on the type and severity. For example, there's a big difference between stealing an article of clothing and dealing drugs.
- Impose your own consequences: Even though the legal system is involved, you can still impose your own punishment on your child with the idea of helping them lead a better life in the future.
- Understand what comes next: The legal system is full of twists and turns, but you need to have a clear understanding of what's to come. This includes court dates and potential punishments.
Finding out that your child has committed a crime can turn your life upside down. You may feel like you are to blame, but there is no time to dwell on the past and the best thing you can do for your child is to retain an experienced juvenile defense attorney.
An attorney who has experience navigating the juvenile justice system will be able to provide the advice and options that you and your child need to formulate a plan to protect his or her legal rights and future.