It’s the call that no parent wants to hear. Your child is in trouble, and the police want to talk to him. They may assure you that you do not need an attorney but that won’t prevent anything he says or does from being held against him in a court of law. Should your child speak to the police? What if your child claims he is innocent? Do you still need an attorney then?
It is always better to have a lawyer and not need one, than to find out later that you should have called an attorney in the beginning. Police are intimidating enough to adults, and much more to juveniles who find themselves in questionable situations. An attorney can help prevent your child from saying the wrong thing to the police, including being pressured into admitting to crimes that they did not commit.
Many parents wrongly assume that it is better to wait for a public defender than to hire a juvenile attorney in the beginning. In many areas throughout the United States, a public defender is not appointed until after a judge files the initial charges in a court of law. By this time, the pre-filing stage has passed and without the benefit of an attorney for the juvenile in question.
What You Need to Know to Pick the Best Juvenile Attorney
Choosing the best juvenile attorney allows the lawyer to get a head start on defending the juvenile who he will represent in court. He can map out a strategy that, in the case that your child is innocent, can result in the police dropping all charges before the court date even happens. Here are some tips to help you choose the best juvenile attorney for your child’s situation, regardless of the details surrounding it.
LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE – You must consider the level of experience of the juvenile attorney who you hire to represent your child. Is the law firm established as one that specializes in juvenile defense in your state? Juvenile defense is one of those specialized fields that requires more than a common criminal defense lawyer could provide.
REFERRALS – Personal and business referrals both can help point you to the beset juvenile attorney. You could speak to other parents with children who needed a lawyer in the past, or ask for a referral about the best juvenile attorney in your area from a local business professional that you use, such as a teen therapy treatment center or from your child’s psychologist.
COMMUNICATION – How promptly the lawyer gets back to you during the initial contact could be an indication of how well he or shell will communicate during the course of the situation overall. Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel good about the juvenile attorney you meet with in the beginning, then it may be necessary for you to pursue a lawyer-client relationship with someone else.
PRICE – You are at the mercy of a juvenile attorney when you need legal information for a situation that involves your child. That means paying a hefty hourly fee, in some cases. Find a lawyer who is willing to work with you so you know which legal procedures and principles you can deal with on your own, and which ones to save for the juvenile attorney.
Video: Our Defense Attorney Discussing His Motivations
Choosing a Juvenile Attorney at the First Sign of Trouble
Whether your child is an honor roll student or shows habits of delinquency, all children are at risk of getting into trouble at some time, especially during their teenage years. During these years children want their freedom, and they want your trust that they’re mature enough to make choices without your guidance or interference.
The reality is that, just like adults, teenagers sometimes make bad choices. If this happens, then it does not mean that your child is a bad person, but it could mean that you need help from the best juvenile attorney that your resources will afford. The time after learning that your child is in trouble is the wrong time to try and choose a lawyer.
However when you pick a lawyer in advance then you can get the best juvenile attorney to help your child or teen more quickly, perhaps even before the police try to question about the event. If you do not yet need a lawyer, then just have their name and telephone number written down where you can find it in case of an urgent situation. You’ll thank yourself in the event that you ever do need it.