J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”
If you are a parent and your child is a teenager, you need a criminal defense lawyer.
So writes author Lisa Green in her new book On Your Case: A compassionate (and Only Slightly Bossy) Legal Guide for Every Stage of a Woman’s Life. Green cites numerous examples in her book showing how even good intentions and seemingly harmless actions can balloon into criminal charges for unsuspecting teens—and parents.
Green writes that parents of teenagers need a criminal defense attorney on speed dial for more than criminal charges. What if, for instance, a school administrator asks a teenager to hand over his or her cell phone because he or she was accused of sending inappropriate text messages? The child or young adult has not been charged with a crime, but citizens—including children and young adults—have Constitutional rights, and those rights extend to investigations.
School administrators can search a cell phone, a laptop, a book bag or any other item belonging to a student only if they have reasonable suspicion that a child has engaged in criminal activity. If a search request is made, Green writes, a child or young adult should refuse the request and ask to call one’s parents.