Depending on the state that you live in and what they are charged with, your child will face several different possible outcomes if they are ever arrested. They could be released after being booked or they could be kept in custody for an indeterminate amount of time. The first thing you need to do is to stay calm and to call a lawyer immediately. If you have a family lawyer that you have dealt with on a regular basis and you have a rapport with, call him or her; if not, simply pick one for now and head to the police station with your lawyer in tow. Let’s take a look at some things you might expect if your child is arrested. Again, it is important to note that every state works differently when it comes to handling cases involving minors.
If your child was arrested but then released, one of two things will likely happen. If it was a serious crime or a crime that the police believe needs to be followed up on, they will give you a notice to appear in court paper that will give you a date and a time to appear with your child to stand in front of a judge. You may also get a note that says that you are to go to the probation department. Again, it depends on the crime committed.
Now, if you are informed that your child is to remain in police custody, you can expect one of several things to happen. They may simply be holding your child so that you can come down to the station and claim him or her. A record of the arrest will be made and you will be given proper instructions on how to proceed from there. A second option is that your child will be sent to an agency for the night, or maybe even for a week, that will shelter, feed and counsel your child for a period of time. You will be given a date in which your child will be released back to you or you will be given instructions that you must complete to show the state that you are determined to get your child back. The worst case outcome is that your child will be sent to juvenile hall. He or she will be given the option of making two phone calls, just like after an adult arrest. One call must be to a parent and the other to a lawyer. You child will never, ever be held for an indeterminate amount of time without you knowing about it.
Your child will also have his or her rights read to them, just like an adult. In most cases, they will not question your child without a lawyer being present or without you being present since most juries would assume the answers would be coerced.
Having your child arrested can be a scary thing, but if you stay level headed, you can get through this disturbing time in one piece.