Aggressive Criminal

What parents should do if their kids get arrested

On Behalf of | Juvenile Law |

It’s one of the worst calls parents can get, save for those alerting them that their children have been hurt or killed. A child calls their parents from jail after an arrest. What are parents supposed to do?

As parents, your first job is to protect your children, and that protection is needed now more than ever. A lot of really traumatic events can happen to a child in pre-trial detention, and you should avoid them at all costs.

Gather information first

Ask your child what charge they were arrested for. Don’t ask them to describe the circumstances on a monitored jail phone. Simply ask what the charge is. In fact, you should stop them from discussing the details, for their own protection.

Some children may not even know why they were arrested depending on their age and cognitive development. If so, reassure your child and end the call. Then, call the relevant authorities and ask them what the charge is and if bail has been set.

Be reasonable when speaking to law enforcement

Chances are good that the person to whom you speak about your child’s arrest was not involved in the actual arrest process. Thus, there is no good reason to unleash vitriol towards them out of anger or frustration.

Skip the spiel, “My child would never (skip school, shoplift, do drugs, drive drunk, etc.).” Even if you believe it wholeheartedly, due to a young person’s brain not catching up with their physical development until some point in their mid-20s, teens can and often do break laws.

Arrange for bail

For minor charges, alleged juvenile offenders frequently get released to their parents’ custody. If the charges are serious, they could have to go before a judge for a bail hearing. When your child’s future hangs in the balance, it is a prudent move to learn more about your legal options before heading into a courtroom.