What to Do if Your Child Gets Arrested

Jul 2, 2018

When a kid gets arrested parents can feel shocked that their child is trouble with the law, but the truth is that juvenile arrests aren’t that uncommon.
It’s estimated that 1,900,000 children get arrested every year. Plenty of parents have been through what you’re facing, and there’s a way to get through this with your child and your family intact.
Want to know what you should do if your kid gets arrested? Read on to learn how to properly handle the situation.

What To Do When Your Kid Gets Arrested

When your child is arrested, it’s important to stay calm above all else.
Your child will need you to be an advocate on their behalf. It’s important to keep a level head and know how to properly handle the situation.
When you get that first call from the police officer, make sure you follow these critical steps.

Know Your Child’s Rights

When a kid gets arrested, some parents may be in shock because they weren’t aware that children could be arrested. If you want to be a helpful parent, know what your child’s rights are.
If a police officer has probable cause, they can choose to search your child. If the police officer has a sufficient reason to believe that a child has committed a crime, they can be searched without a parent present.
You should also know that your child has a right to legal counsel, and a right to contact their parents. A police officer may initially contact you, but you have the right to ask to speak to your child.
Your child also should be read their Miranda Rights and should know what they’re being charged with.
If you want to know more about juvenile arrest laws and practiced for Florida, the state’s website for juvenile justice has a lot of useful information.

Assess The Situation

When a kid gets arrested, a parent can have a variety of reactions. They may automatically assume that their child is innocent and that this is big misunderstanding. Others may think that their child is guilty.
Before you jump to conclusions, learn what actually happened.
Most parents will want to see their kids as soon as possible. But you should understand that you may not immediately be allowed to when you’re first alerted of their arrest.
In many instances, your presence may be allowed by the officer. In others, your child may be entitled to having a lawyer with them, but not a parent.
Be clear on what is and isn’t allowed in terms of contact, then talk to the officer to see what occurred.

Use Your Best Judgement

It’s important to note that even though you may want to trust the police or your child word for word, it may not be best to.
Your child could leave certain details out about the situation that could falsely make you believe that they’re innocent. The arrested officer may be biased against your child and eager to make an arrest.
This is why it’s important for the parents to use their best judgment in these situations and gather as much information as possible. After talking to some people you may be able to draw your own conclusions about the situation.

Don’t Act As Legal Representation

As a mother or father, you may know what’s best for your child in most situations. Unfortunately, an arrest isn’t a situation where you know best.
Even if you practice criminal law, you still shouldn’t try to take legal control of the situation. You’re going to be heavily biased in your child’s favor, and won’t be able to act as an impartial attorney.
As soon as you hear that your child is with a police officer, it’s time to find an attorney that handles juvenile law.
A lawyer can help you make the best decision for your child. They’ll know the ins and outs of Miami law, and will be able to think of solutions to your legal problems that you didn’t think were possible.

Don’t Argue

You’ve spoken to the police and your child, and you’re convinced that a mistake was made. You’re feeling upset and disrespected, and starting to get a little angry.
Your emotions may be running high, but it’s important to keep them in check when your kid gets arrested.
It isn’t uncommon for scared and worried parents to start giving police officers an earful as soon as they walk into the station. Being angry or rude to people is never helpful, but it can be very harmful when you’re dealing with the police.
Parents that get belligerent with police officers could make trouble for themselves and their kids. A police officer’s negative testimony about a parent could influence a judge and the outcome of your child’s case.
This is why it’s important to stay calm when you arrive. Getting too upset could have consequences you won’t have to deal with.

Get Help

Legal representation can go a long way when your child has their day in court, but if you really want to help them you may want to consider speaking with a therapist.
Getting arrested can be a mentally taxing experience for anyone, but it can be especially upsetting to a minor. Even if they’re cleared of charges, they could develop a negative image of the police or develop anxiety.
It can also be helpful to find a therapist for the family in the event that your child is charged with something. Younger siblings may feel anxious or worried about their older brother or sister.
Finding someone to talk to you on your own can also be helpful in addition to family therapy or individual therapy for family members. This situation can be stressful on parents too. Make sure to take care of yourself.

Next Steps

Now that you know how to handle the situation, it’s time to get some help.
Contact us today so we can help represent your child and your family in your time of need.
If you feel that your child may require bail, make sure to check out our page on jail and bond information.