Your Teen Has Been Arrested
Daniel.Tan | March 5, 2024 | 0 Comments

Your Teen Has Been Arrested—What Now?

There are few calls more distressing to a parent than one from the police, advising them that their teenager has been arrested. Whether or not you know your teen is dabbling in unsafe or dangerous activities, this can come as a huge blow. But regardless of your current fears and concerns, it is crucial to approach your teen’s arrest appropriately. How you handle this could shape their future, your relationship with them, and the decisions they make in the future. As soon as you find out that your teen is under arrest, your next call must be to a Southern California criminal defense lawyer. Your child’s future is at stake and they deserve every opportunity at a fresh start. Call the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry at 562-216-2944 to find out how we can help.

It’s important to realize that juvenile arrests cover a wide range of potential crimes. While your initial thought may be serious crimes like burglary, violent offenses, and felony theft, many teens are arrested for shoplifting, having a drug, or drinking underage. This isn’t meant to downplay the severity of an arrest—it’s to remind you that teenagers are known for making dumb decisions and that their choices aren’t necessarily a reflection of your parenting. In 2022, misdemeanors and status offenses were more common than felony arrests. Those arrested for misdemeanors were most often arrested for assault and battery, malicious mischief, and drug and alcohol problems.

Stay Calm Before You React

Before you go any further in this situation, get yourself as calm as possible. There is already a fire blazing; don’t go and throw lighter fluid on it. Your teen is likely already panicking and assuming the worst, and you must be a source of reason and logic for now. There will be plenty of time to scold them and dole out the punishments you deem necessary, but for now, stay cool and collect.

Consider the Consequences

Many parents react to an arrest with tough love. They say that if their child is grown up enough to do the crime, they are old enough to do the time. They refuse to offer any legal help, even claiming that spending time in juvenile detention may straighten them out.

The fact is that this approach simply does not work. Letting your child fend for themselves in the juvenile justice system puts them at risk of a conviction, which can permanently hinder their educational opportunities, career options, and social standing. No one wants to be judged for the rest of their lives by their worst moment—especially when that moment occurred at an age known for making rash choices. Your child spending time in juvenile detention won’t straighten them out; it will put them in contact with juveniles who have done far worse things than them and have even benefited from those crimes. Spending time in a detention facility is more likely to push your child into more criminal activity than it is to deter them from it. Their only shot at the future you’ve dreamed of for them is a strong and proactive approach to their current charges.

Connecting With a Criminal Defense Attorney

Working with a criminal defense lawyer in Southern California can help you avoid the worst possible consequences of a juvenile arrest. You do not want your child to have a criminal record before they have even had the chance to graduate from high school, nor do you want them to rub elbows with even more troubled kids in juvenile detention. It is far better for them to be on probation, go through treatment for their problems, or do community service.

Set Your Teen Up for Future Success

If your criminal defense attorney can avoid juvenile detention and a conviction, you still have work to do. This isn’t the time to sweep the situation under the carpet, pretend it never happened, and hope your child learned their lesson. Make sure that this experience serves as a wake-up call. Help them figure out their goals, how to achieve them, and how criminal charges can hinder their future opportunities. Depending on the charges they face, you may want to get them into individual or group counseling. In many situations, behavioral issues and petty criminal behavior are the result of underlying mental health or substance use issues. Helping your teen handle these problems more productively can protect them from future arrests.

Take Action Now—Call the Law Offices of Robin D. Perry & Associates

If your teen has been arrested, step up for them now. Let’s talk about your options and next steps. Give us a call at 562-216-2944 or send us a message online to get started.

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