Help! Police Arrested My Teenager!

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What should parents tell their children to do when interacting with police officers?”


Your teenager has been arrested by the Charlotte Police Department, and you have received a disturbing call on the phone. It is going to be tough, but try not to panic. Your child needs you to stay focused and in charge. Children make mistakes. It is our job as adults to make sure those mistakes do not become a criminal record that follows good kids for the rest of their lives. The following are some things to consider if you ever find yourself in this situation. And of course, if your son or daughter has been arrested, the best thing you can do is reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Charlotte right away.


handcuffs-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Criminal-defense-lawyer-300x114Talking to the Police

If your child calls you before the police interrogate them, remind them not to discuss anything with the police without a lawyer present. While it sounds wrong, police do not have to allow a parent to be present when questioning a child. Your child has a right to representation and should use it right away.


Will My Child be Released?

The legal system treats children differently from adults. If at all possible, authorities will release your child to your care. If your child cannot come home because the alleged victim is in the home, juvenile authorities should look for a family member to take charge of your child. If the juvenile authorities place your child with someone else, your child must live with your relative and follow all the release conditions. There are some situations and crimes, particularly more serious ones, for which a judge may decide that your child needs to remain in detention. The judge may also require that your child do certain things before release, such as participate in a risk assessment.


When Does My Child Go Back to Court?

The police will tell your child when their next court date is and provide directions on when and how to contact the necessary department counselor. They will also tell you and your child if there are any special release conditions, such as getting a drug and alcohol or mental health evaluation and starting treatment before their next court appearance.


Do I Have to Hire an Attorney?

Any time a young person is in court, they should have a lawyer with them. Your child’s lawyer will explain the legal process, review the evidence against them, and counsel them on what to expect and how to behave in court. It is essential to choose an experienced attorney with whom you and your child feel comfortable. An excellent juvenile attorney will have both an understanding of child development and a command of the law. Your child’s future is too important to take on the criminal justice system without the help of a seasoned attorney. There is simply too much at stake, and a criminal conviction can change the trajectory of your child’s life forever.


What Will My Child’s Attorney Do?

Your child’s attorney will receive copies of the police reports and other information on the case. Once the attorney has had the chance to review the information, they will meet with your child to go over the case. Remember, the attorney’s first responsibility is to your child, and that includes keeping confidential information privileged. Your child’s attorney cannot discuss confidential information with you without your child’s permission.


What is the Next Step?

If your child has been arrested for a crime in North Carolina, contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced juvenile lawyers. Your child deserves aggressive representation from an attorney who understands. Please contact us today to get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.





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