Raising children is a rewarding – but challenging – endeavor at the best of times. If your child may be facing arrest, things have become that much more challenging, and you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. First and foremost, however, it is important to understand that officers do not actually arrest children but, instead, take them into custody, which means that your child will not have an arrest record as a result.
Your Child’s Rights
If your son or daughter has been taken into custody, understanding his or her rights is critical to protecting those rights. Until you have secured a criminal defense lawyer’s services, you may well be your child’s only legal advocate. Ensuring that your child’s rights are upheld throughout the legal process is essential, so read on to familiarize yourself with the basics.
Once Your Child Is Taken into Custody
If your child has been taken into custody by an officer, that officer will take him or her to a juvenile processing office, which could be in the local jail, police station, or sheriff’s office. Your child will, however, be separated from adult offenders during this processing. There are strict rules in place regarding the time your child can spend in processing, including:
- Your child can be held in processing no longer than six hours.
- Your child may only be held for reasons that include completing paperwork, fulfilling other processing actions, taking your child’s statement, issuing a warning to your child, and/or waiting for you to pick him or her up.
- Your child cannot be left alone in the processing office.
- You have the right to be in the processing office with your child or the right to have an attorney with your child.
If your child is not released to you or to another responsible party within this six-hour holding period, then your child must be taken to a juvenile detention center. An officer might take your child into custody only if he or she broke the law, at the order of the court, or at the order of his or her probation officer.
If your child has been taken into custody by the police, it is time for action. Either you and/or your child’s other parent should head immediately to the juvenile processing center while one of you gets to work securing the professional legal services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. This is no time to take a wait and see approach. Your dedicated criminal defense lawyer will help ensure that your child’s rights are preserved throughout the legal process and will aggressively advocate for an optimal resolution to the situation at hand.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today
If the police have taken your child into custody, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a tenacious criminal defense lawyer with the experience and fortitude to help. If your legal concern involves your child, it is a critical situation, and you should not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 immediately.