What to Do if Your Child is Arrested
2 years ago by Brian
There are things you can do to help your child if he or she has a run-in with the law. Getting a clear understanding of the situation with the help of a Woodbury, MN juvenile delinquency attorney is the first step.
Let us face it. If you have children, those children may experiment with social norms. This is particularly true during the teen years, when teens push boundaries and may often engage in risky behavior in the process. Every parent wants to ensure their child’s safety, and negotiating the teen years can mean a brush or two with the law. If you get a phone call from your local police department indicating that your child has been arrested, the most important thing you can do is not to panic.
Instead of panicking, take a few deep breaths and try to get a clear understanding of what your child is being charged with and find out where your child is being held. Arrest at this age can mean anything from shoplifting to murder charges. Clearly understanding the charges will help you determine what your next steps should be. More serious charges can mean getting the help of an experienced Woodbury, MN juvenile delinquency attorney.
The Juvenile Delinquency System
It can help to understand how the juvenile delinquency system works. Unlike the adult criminal system, the juvenile justice system is focused more on helping a child take responsibility for their actions and to learn from them than it is on punishing a child. It is not focused on incarceration so much as on rehabilitation.
Juveniles who are arrested are classified according to age and severity of the offense in the following categories:
- Petty Offenders: These juveniles are arrested for such things as petty theft or other first-time misdemeanors and those charged with offenses such as breaking curfew or other minor offenses.
- Juvenile Delinquents: These juveniles have committed a crime that would be a crime if committed by an adult. These children are entitled to an attorney during their proceedings.
- Juvenile Traffic Offenders: These children have committed a traffic violation that may be handled in an adult court, such as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). An experienced attorney is recommended.
- Juveniles Certified to Adult Court: These are children over the age of 14 who have either committed a serious offense or whose past criminal conduct makes authorities believe that their current offense is best handled in an adult court. A child must rebut this presumption if they want their matter to be handled in juvenile court. An experienced MN juvenile delinquency attorney is highly recommended for this type of matter.
- Extended Jurisdiction Juveniles: This designation is reserved for children over the age of 14 who have committed a felony-level act but who the court feels would be better off with their matter handled in juvenile court. The court can extend its jurisdiction to age 21. Again, it is helpful to have an experienced juvenile delinquency attorney handle this kind of matter.
- Juveniles Accused of Murder: This is a serious charge. If the child is 16 years of age or older, they can be tried in adult court. An experienced Woodbury, MN juvenile delinquency attorney is necessary to help you and your child.
What to Expect
If the juvenile court retains jurisdiction, the court has many options for handling the matter. It may choose to impose a fine or probation. It may order counseling, home detention, community service, substance abuse treatment if that is appropriate. For more serious offenses, the court may place the child in a state juvenile correctional facility. Having an experienced juvenile delinquency attorney on your side can enable your child to receive a fair shake.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Woodbury, MN Juvenile Delinquency Attorney
We offer a free case evaluation at JS Defense, PA., to help see what we can do for you. When your child is involved, experience and compassion matter. Call us today at (651) 362-9414 or contact us online to see how we can help.