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If My Child Is Arrested

If a minor is arrested, anything they say can and will be used against them in a court of law.

Like adults, children get arrested for offenses ranging from public intoxication, drug and alcohol abuse, vandalism, auto theft, rape, murder, and a host of other crimes.

It is a good idea to learn and understand juvenile law and how it could effect your minor child, and you, if the child is arrested for any reason. The responsibility for all costs will land squarely in your lap and you will be the one who has to find ways to help your child get through the legal process. It could cost you anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars.

Your child will have the same rights as those of an adult. Since he or she falls under specific laws that are designed to protect the rights of minors, someone has to step up to the plate to ensure that the minors rights are protected.

They have the right to remain silent, the right to the services of an attorney, and the right to a fair and speedy trial if formal charges are filed. They must be read their Miranda Rights before they answer any questions and they must be allowed to call a parent, guardian, or an attorney. The rights of minors do not exclude them from being punished to the full extent of the law.

The arrest of minor, a person who is 18 years old or younger, is usually handled in juvenile court, although in certain cases depending on the severity of the crime, a minor can be tried as an adult. He or she can be tried as an adult in Superior court for criminal offenses such as murder, attempted murder, rape, crimes that involve the use of weapons, and/or other acts of violence.

Minors, if taken into custody, will be referred to an officer who specializes in juvenile justice. This officer evaluates the circumstances surrounding the offense and decides whether formal charges will be filed or if the minor will be charged with less severe penalties such as community service, counseling, or paying for property damage.

The child may be required to remain in custody at a juvenile facility or they may be placed in a foster home until their arraignment. In most cases involving minors, there are no jury trials. The case is presented before a judge and the judge decides the punishment, if any. This includes whether or not the minor should be tried as an adult.

Most parents believe that their children will never get arrested, and most don't. But just because Little Johnny is nice and polite at home doesn't mean he behaves that way when out of his parent's eyesight. They are shocked when they learn that their child has been arrested and can't believe that it has happened.

Peer pressure has a lot to do with some minors getting in trouble with the law, but not always. Some children are inclined to follow the wrong crowd because they have a need to be excepted or to show that he or she is brave and willing to do bad things to get attention. Others get in trouble because they want whatever it is that they want and they will do whatever it takes to get it, regardless of the consequences.

If your child is arrested, they will be taken to a juvenile facility and processed into the system. From that point, vital information will be collected from the child such as his or her name, address, age, and most importantly, the name of parents or guardians.

The intake workers will contact the parents or guardians to let them know where their child is and the steps to take to make contact with the proper authorities concerning the disposition of the child.

In most cases, if it is a first time offense, arrangements are made to have the child released into the custody of the parent pending court proceedings. But all depends on the severity of crime committed and the charges the minor is going to face. If the child has a prior arrest record, he or she may be placed in a juvenile detention center instead of being released to the parents or guardians.

Some of the most common offenses that can cause an arrest of a minor child:

  • Fighting with the intent to do bodily harm
  • Civil disobedience
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a driver's license
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Breaking and entering or other acts of robbery
  • The use of a weapon to commit a crime
  • Grand theft auto
  • Possession of drugs or weapons
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • The malicious destruction of property (Vandalism)

Finding the right attorney to handle your child's case is imperative to getting favorable treatment. Juvenile records are normally sealed and not available to the public. If your child meets the conditions set forth by the courts, when he or she turns eighteen, the charges filed against them can be expunged from their record.

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