Helping Your Teen Navigate Legal Challenges

December 7, 2023

Every parent shares similar concerns for their child – the fear of bullying, potential injuries, or legal troubles. There are various reasons your teenager might find themselves in trouble with the law, be it a DUI, drug-related offense, or theft. In these scary moments, it is important to stay calm and support your child, making sure they learn a lesson without ruining their future.

While juvenile charges may be less severe than those faced by adults, they can still leave a lasting impact on your child. Beyond providing emotional support, one of the most effective ways to assist your teen is by equipping them with the necessary information and resources and arranging a consultation with a legal professional.

Dealing With A DUI

Many teenagers experiment with alcohol despite it being illegal, so it is not uncommon for a teen to drive under the influence instead of admitting to their parents they need a ride. Unfortunately, teenagers often do not think about the long-term legal, health, and financial consequences that come with a DUI charge.

Not only is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs incredibly dangerous for the driver and other cars on the road, but it is a serious legal offense. Different states have different BAC limits as well as penalties, so depending on the state you live in, a DUI charge can come with a variety of consequences. License suspension, substance abuse programs, fines, community service, and jail time are all possibilities.

It is vital that you find a local attorney who specializes in juvenile DUI cases. Experienced legal professionals will know all of the various defense options, and how to make sure that your child gets a fair sentence. It is also important to educate your teen that going forward, using public transportation or having a designated driver is imperative for their safety and future.

Navigating Drug Charges

There are a variety of types of criminal drug charges, from possession to distribution to trafficking. For first-time minor offenses, the police may let a juvenile go with a warning, but that is not guaranteed. Especially for second or third-time offenders, the penalties can be severe and greatly impact a teenager’s future. Consequences can extend to college admissions, scholarships, and employment opportunities.

It is crucial that parents and teachers establish open communication with teens about the risks of drugs, from the health consequences to the legal ones. Teenagers have a tendency to live in the moment, and they need to be aware of the long-lasting impact that one bad decision can have. If your teen has been charged with a drug crime, the only thing you can do is help them through the legal process. Find a criminal defense attorney in your city who can explore different legal avenues and potential defenses or plea bargains. Make sure your child knows although this is a big mistake, you will be there to support them.

The Legal Process And Consequences

When a minor is taken into custody, it is required by law that the parents be notified immediately. Unless the crime was violent, juveniles are normally released into the custody of their parents. From there, a variety of things can happen; the District Attorney could determine it was a brief lapse in judgment, or it could proceed to a criminal trial, and everything in between. Minors are tried through the juvenile justice system, and while this system does try and avoid jail time for minors, felony charges always come with prison time.

The best thing your teenager can do at this point in the process is fully cooperate, acknowledge their mistake, and learn from it. Hopefully, they can practice responsible decision-making in the future and do everything they can to right this wrong.

Consulting A Criminal Defense Lawyer

In juvenile cases, the role of a criminal defense lawyer is pivotal. These legal professionals specialize in advocating for the rights and best interests of young individuals facing legal challenges. From providing guidance to negotiating on behalf of the juvenile, defense lawyers play a crucial role in navigating the complexities of the legal system.

One key aspect of successfully managing juvenile legal matters is a timely consultation with a criminal defense lawyer. Most defense attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Seeking legal advice early in the process ensures that your child’s rights are protected from the outset. It allows for a thorough examination of the case, exploration of potential defenses, and strategic planning to mitigate the impact of the legal proceedings on your teenager’s future.

Parents play a vital role in supporting their teen through legal proceedings. This involves actively engaging with a criminal defense lawyer, providing relevant information, and fostering open communication with their child. By working collaboratively with legal counsel, parents can contribute to the overall defense strategy and help create a supportive environment for their teen during what can be a challenging and stressful time.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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