When you receive the news that the police have arrested your teen, your first reaction might be crushing disappointment and shock. But those feelings will quickly give way to concern. You love your child and want him or her to have the best future possible–one where they have the chance to grow and learn from their mistakes. So, what can you do to help? Here are four practical things.
- Find well-qualified criminal defense lawyer. The number one thing you can do for your child is to hire a strong criminal defense lawyer as quickly possible. Your child’s lawyer will immediately seek to protect your child’s rights, prevent them from incriminating themselves, and help them get released from prison or detention. Be sure the lawyer has all the necessary qualifications, but also be sure you trust this person at a gut-level. You and your child will have to share critical personal details with the lawyer, so you should feel as comfortable as possible.
- Learn how Indiana juvenile court works. A good lawyer will explain the system to you and what your child should expect. But you should start trying to get familiar with the system on your own. Look to sites such as Indiana Juvenile Justice System and Inside Sources to get you started. Pay special attention to the rights of your child, including the right to a lawyer, probable cause for a search, and
- Don’t argue with the police. You won’t help your child at all by arguing with the police. They believe they had good reason for arresting your child, whatever your opinion. Leave the arguing to your child’s lawyer. A good lawyer can raise arguments in a way that result in a good outcome for your child–a parent’s arguments can do far more harm than good.
- Find support. Both you and your child will need a supportive community after an arrest. Many people feel ashamed or alienated after their child is arrested and withdraw from friendships and other members of the family. Ask your lawyer to help you find a counselor or community that can give your family the emotional support you need as you deal with the consequences of the arrest. Thousands of juvenile arrests happen every year in Indiana–you are not alone.
- Show love and support to your child. You may feel angry and disappointed with your teen, but they are likely feeling scared and ashamed of their arrest. They need your unconditional love now more than ever. Let them know that you’re disappointed, but that you also love them and will do whatever you can to help them get their life back on track.
If your teen has been arrested and needs a dedicated criminal defense attorney, contact Razumich & Associates at (317) 983-5333. We’re ready to fight for your child’s rights.