What to Do if Your Teenager is Arrested

A parent’s worst fear is getting that phone call in the middle of the night, notifying you that your teenager has been arrested. Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which this is a possibility.

Our defense attorneys will do everything in their power to ensure that your child receives a fair trial and the best possible outcome. Whether your child is tried as a juvenile or an adult, our lawyers can help.

Here are our tips for what to do if your teenager is arrested.

Don’t Panic

We understand that you may be angry or upset that your child has been arrested. However, staying calm is the best way to think clearly. One of your first calls should be to set up a consultation with one of our juvenile criminal attorneys.

Hire a Juvenile Defense Attorney

A juvenile defense attorney can help you understand the legal consequences attached to your child’s charge. For example, a juvenile drug conviction will affect your child’s future eligibility for federal student aid, jobs, and housing. In other words, juvenile crime will affect your child’s life long past high school. (To learn more about long-term consequences, read our blog post on how a DUI can impact your child’s life.)

Being sad or angry at your child won’t help their circumstances as much as picking up the phone to call one of our juvenile lawyers. No matter what your child has been arrested for, remain calm and call one of our juvenile defense lawyers. You can count on our legal expertise to help get your child out of trouble or at least minimize consequences.

Underestimating your child’s juvenile crime can mean the difference between your child being able to come home and spending more time behind bars. Our Southwest Florida juvenile lawyers are familiar with the attitudes and legal strategies of local judges and prosecutors, which is to your child’s advantage.

We represent minors for the following types of juvenile crime:

  • Retail fraud (shoplifting)
  • Underage consumption of alcohol
  • Minor in possession (MIP) and open container
  • Vandalism
  • Assault
  • Rape or date rape
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI)

Know Your Child’s Legal Rights

Under the eyes of the law, a juvenile is someone under the age of 17. However, the court is more likely to try a juvenile as an adult if they’re suspected of committing a serious crime like murder or sexual assault. In the United States, children as young as 11 years old have been tried as adults.

Police don’t need to contact you or get your permission to question your juvenile child. However, they are required to stop questioning if your child requests a parent or lawyer.

Similar to when adults are interrogated, your child also has the right to remain silent. A parent or lawyer can instruct their child to remain silent if they feel it would be in their best interest.

Prepare for the Initial Hearing

You’ll most likely get a letter in the mail that’ll tell you when you and your child must appear in family court for the initial hearing. If you haven’t hired a defense attorney by this point, we strongly recommend you do so.

A defense lawyer will be able to help your child understand the charges against them, their rights, and what plea to enter. An attorney will also help you as the parent understand the next steps.

Learn more: How to expunge or seal your child’s criminal record >>

Request a Legal Consultation

Have questions about your teenager’s legal options? Our juvenile defense lawyers in Florida are proud to represent clients near Cape Coral, Naples, and Fort Myers. To request a legal consultation, call Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. at (800) 283-7442.

This blog post has been updated.

Contact Information