It’s hardly unusual for children to get into trouble at school. But these days, as school shootings and other violence become increasingly common, zero-tolerance schools are having some children arrested too. If your child is arrested at an Indiana school, what can you expect? Here’s a brief look.
1. Your child may be charged with a crime.
An arrest is an act of taking a person into custody–it does not necessarily mean that the person will be charged with a crime. That said, if your child is arrested, it’s a real possibility that the police may charge them.
The charges may vary depending on their actions and circumstances. For example, in 2018, an 18-year old high school student in Scottsburg was arrested and charged with felony intimidation after posting character from a Walking Dead video game shooting zombies in his school’s hallway. In 2017, a 9-year old autistic boy in Franklin was arrested and charged with battery and criminal mischief for hitting another student and two teachers.
Being charged with a crime is not the same as a conviction, however. The authorities may decide to drop the charges after further investigation. For this reason, it is essential to seek an Indiana criminal defense attorney for your child as soon as possible after the arrest.
2. Your child may be taken to an Indiana juvenile intake facility.
If arrested for a serious crime, the police may handcuff your child and take them to a juvenile intake facility. An intake officer will assess the offense and determines whether your child should be detained, placed on an Alternative to Detention, or release to a parent. Regardless of the action the state decides upon, the authorities will notify you and explain the next steps.
3. Your child may have to go to juvenile court.
When serious charges are an issue, the state may file a petition against your child. They will have to answer to the charge in a court of law. If your child is under 16, a judge in juvenile court will hear their case. If they are over 16, they may be tried as an adult, depending on the seriousness of the charges.
4. Your child may face disciplinary action by the school.
In addition to criminal charges, your child’s school may take disciplinary action. The 18-year old who was arrested for posting a video game, for example, was expelled from school. Schools have suspended other children for making threats, intimidation or aggression.
If the police arrest your child at school, one action you should take immediately is to find the best Indiana criminal defense attorney possible. A good lawyer can make an enormous difference in how the authorities handle your child’s case– and ultimately, your child’s future.