What to Do if Your Child Commits a Crime

juvenile defense lawyer in austin

A child committing a crime can be a parent’s worst nightmare. Your first reactions are likely to be strong, ranging from angry to disappointed to worried. In all cases, a fine line has to be walked – how to protect them from unfair punishment while also not wanting to condone their crime or say that it is okay. It’s important to take the right steps, beginning by contacting a juvenile defense lawyer who can help advise you and provide counsel.

If you do find out that your child has committed a crime, it’s important to know that there are many cases where you do not have a duty to report the crime. However, there are some situations where you become a mandatory reporter, or where your silence could be interpreted as you being complicit in the crime. A juvenile criminal attorney can help provide more clarity as to when you should present the crime and how.

If your child commits a crime and you do report, there are some instances where you can be held either criminally or civilly liable for their actions. This could come into play if you know about the crime either before or after the fact, but help conceal the crime rather than reporting it.

 Cases where you could be liable

there are a few cases where you could be liable simply beyond not reporting a crime:

Truancy 

You could be charged with a crime if your child skips school more than is allowed, depending on your state.

Bullying 

Again, depending on the state law, parents can sometimes be held liable for failing to control or supervise a child who is bullying others.

Underage DUI 

f your child is drinking and you are aware of it, you may be liable if your child is then charged with a drunk driving offense.

Gun Crimes 

If you are a gun owner, you must follow the gun storage laws. The failure to do so could result in liability for you if your child then uses one of your guns to cause harm to someone else.

How Can You Protect Your Rights? 

Failing to discipline or provide consequences for a child that commits a crime may lead to larger, more serious problems later in life. That is why many parents may choose to take action even if not legally required to do so, hoping that a lesson learned early is better than a lesson that may never be learned at all.

If your child has been accused of or committed a crime, the first step is to contact a juvenile defense lawyer in Austin, TX, who can help provide professional legal advice that will be valuable for helping you take the proper steps. A juvenile defense lawyer will inform you as the parent and protect your children’s rights, both now and in the future.

If you are unsure where to go, contact Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas (LRS) in Austin. We gather your information, assess your situation, and then refer you to an attorney that fits the profile of what you need. Your child committing a crime can be a scary situation, but fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. LRS is here to help!

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