One of the most upsetting calls a parent can receive is one notifying them that their child has been arrested for a criminal offense.
As disappointed and angry as you may be if you are a parent in this situation, there are reasons why it is crucial that you take action to protect your child against the potentially life-changing consequences he or she is facing for a criminal conviction.
Serious penalties for juvenile and adult offenses
The penalties for a juvenile offense will be less severe than the penalties for an adult conviction. That does not mean they are insignificant; a child could still be detained, lose educational and professional opportunities and have difficulty putting the offense behind them.
As an adult, your child could be imprisoned, sentenced to probation and/or responsible for massive fines. There could also be the threat of harsh mandatory minimum sentences. These penalties could disrupt their lives and destroy their futures.
Children need support
Many parents feel that tough love is the best way to help their children learn from their mistakes. However, they are already in a position to learn a difficult lesson. A youthful indiscretion can follow a child into adulthood, making it an incredible challenge to most past it. Tough love can only make the situation that much harder to cope with.
It is also important to note that having a strong support system at home can allow courts to look more favorably at options like home detention, bail and rehabilitation versus incarceration.
It’s not just the child serving a sentence
As this Huffington Post article describes, when a family member is imprisoned for a criminal offense, the entire family can suffer. So, even if you are angry with your child, supporting him or her can be in the best interests of all your loved ones.
With all this in mind, parents should take seriously the responsibility to protect their children, even in times when they are disappointed with their child’s choices. This can mean securing an experienced defense attorney and standing by the child throughout the legal process. With this type of support, hopefully, a child can learn from a mistake without having to pay for it for the rest of his or her life.