Finding out that your child is being accused of a crime comes with a mixture of emotions. You might be angry at your child for possibly committing a crime, and you are naturally going to be frightened for your child’s future. As a parent, you have the right to protect your child as much as possible under the law. Here’s what you need to know after your child has been arrested or accused of committing a crime.
Your Child Doesn’t Have to Talk
If your child was arrested, he has the right to remain silent, just like an adult who was arrested. Police officers may attempt to interrogate your child or make your child believe that the law will go easier on him if he talks. However, it is most likely in your child’s best interests to remain silent and politely decline to answer any questions asked by law enforcement officers. Let your child know that they don’t have to talk, regardless of how pressured he may feel.
The Law Must Protect the Identity of Your Child
No matter what type of crime your child was accused of, it is important to recognize that California juvenile law differs greatly from adult law. The court cannot publicly announce your child’s name. If your child is convicted of a sex crime, there’s no sex offender registry that your child’s name will go on. Your child’s identity will be protected and sealed in court documents, even when your child becomes an adult.
Your Child Has the Right to an Attorney
Every person, including both adults and juveniles, have the right to defend themselves against accusations of a crime. The single most effective thing you can do to protect your child and their future after they are arrested is to hire a criminal defense attorney. In many cases, it is in the best interest of your child to hire an attorney before an arrest is made if you already know that your child is being investigated for a crime.
Jennifer Mouzis is an experienced juvenile crimes attorney who has worked with families in a variety of situations. She can provide you and your child with the guidance you need to navigate through the California legal system. Contact her today for a consultation to discuss your case by calling (916) 822-8702.