Having your child have to go through the legal system for any sort of crime can be one of the most heart wrenching experiences that a parent can go through. In order to get through this time period gracefully and in a way that helps your child still have a bright future, you'll need to take some practical steps. To understand more about this situation, what you are up against and how to proceed, read the tips laid out below.
Tip 1 - Understand the Landscape of Juvenile Court and the Implications of the Case
Your child being tried as a juvenile depends on the age requirements of your particular state. For instance, some states have a juvenile cutoff of 16, while others consider 18 or even 19 the highest age. Once your child is arraigned on charges, you should get a copy of the state code that deals with such a charge, to know the minimum and maximum penalties, along with an understanding of the juvenile detention centers in your area. Knowing the best and worst case scenarios will better equip you to move forward in a practical manner, while also getting the professional defense that you will need.
Tip 2 - Hire the Best Juvenile Lawyer You Can Afford
It is important to hire criminal lawyers that specifically practice juvenile cases because they will be better equipped to build a rapport with your child, navigate the legal system and strike a plea agreement when applicable and beneficial. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner your child will be protected from self incrimination or legal mistakes. A good lawyer can even get the charges dropped altogether before appearing in court, or can arrange for probation or community service, in lieu of jail or juvenile detention.
Tip 3 - Understand the Cost of Juvenile Criminal Defense
While protecting your child from the worst punishment is the priority, you should also have an understanding of how much it will cost you. Typically, your juvenile criminal lawyer fees will begin at the $1,500 to $2,000 mark, and may reach as high as $10,000. While a good lawyer is worth every penny, you should definitely seek consultations and quotes from many different law firms and exercise your options before jumping at the very first quote that you receive.
Following these three tips will keep you grounded during an otherwise tumultuous time in your life as a parent. For assistance, talk to a juvenile lawyer likeKassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices.