Kids should have the freedom to explore the world safely to understand their role within it and themselves. For a lot of kids, this leads to misadventures and sometimes trouble with the law. In these situations, your child is extremely vulnerable, and they need to know you’re on their side. The juvenile justice system works very differently from the adult system, but calling a lawyer is essential regardless. The juvenile justice system is a realm that demands understanding, strategy, and a firm commitment to protecting your child’s future.
Diverse Rights for Juveniles
The foundation of the juvenile justice system rests on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Unlike the adult criminal justice system, the primary goal is to help young offenders learn from their mistakes and eventually reintegrate into society as productive individuals. That’s the idea, anyway. Even if the system was created with good intentions, it’s important to recognize that the outcomes can be vastly different, especially when considering the severity of the alleged crimes.
Juveniles have a distinct set of rights in comparison to adults. The most notable example is the absence of the right to a jury trial in some instances. Additionally, juveniles might find themselves in detention without the possibility of bail. This highlights the need for a comprehensive understanding of your child’s rights within the juvenile justice system. Your attorney can help you and your child make informed decisions and avoid missteps that have the potential to lead to harsh consequences that will follow them around for the rest of their lives.
Steps to Protect Your Child’s Rights
From the moment you find out that your child is accused of a crime or under investigation, you have limited time to adequately protect them. Although it’s not possible to predict if or when your child will get themselves into legal trouble, teaching them about their rights is important at any age. Juvenile probation and law enforcement will reach out to your child immediately to talk about the crime in the name of “rehabilitation.” As in a criminal case, any statements made to the government can greatly complicate your child’s case by being twisted against them, no matter the facts of the case or if your child is innocent.
Invoking Your Child’s Right to Remain Silent: The single most important thing to remember when interacting with police is to use your right to remain silent. Your child’s innocence doesn’t matter if they unintentionally incriminate themselves and the police consider it a “confession” or even if the government just thinks there are inconsistencies in a statement given to the government. Anything you or your child says can be used against them in court and potentially harm or complicate their defense. Juvenile probation officers may also try to find out more about the case under the guise of therapeutic purposes. Remaining silent even applies to teachers, classmates, and other parents, as they may be questioned if necessary.
Immediate Legal Representation: Not many people realize this, but parents do not have to be present when police begin questioning their children. Getting your attorney involved as soon as possible will be the best way to protect your child’s rights and limit police access to them. Your attorney will also be able fully explain your options and guide you through possible resolutions to fight for the best possible outcome.
Active Involvement: Active participation in your child’s case is vital. Attending court hearings and meetings with your child’s probation officer demonstrates your commitment to their well-being and serves as a clear indicator that they have a stable support system. Your love and support through the legal proceedings will give your child a sense of security during uncertain times.
Moving Forward with an Aggressive Defense
As you prepare to navigate the juvenile justice system, working with an attorney you trust is essential. Getting the peace of mind that an experienced legal team is dedicated to your child’s case will help in court and provide some semblance of peace of mind. You can expect to field numerous inquiries from the police and the probation officer. Partnering with an attorney early in the process will allow you to strategize and be prepared for any potential challenges.
At the office of Ryan Brown Attorney at Law, P.L.L.C., we understand the juvenile justice system is emotionally draining, but we’re here to help you with the necessary steps to protect your child’s future. If you or your child are in need of legal assistance, contact our office as soon as possible by calling (806) 372-5711.
Latest posts by Spotlight Branding (see all)
- Giving Your Child a Fighting Chance After Criminal Allegations - September 11, 2023