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Your Child Has Just Been Arrested…Now What?

If your child has been charged with a crime, it is important to hire an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer, because a conviction can haunt your child for the rest of his or her life. The goal when handling these cases is to eliminate all charges against your child without having to go to court. However, there are times when the district attorney refuses to dismiss the charges. If this occurs, it’s possible for an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer to get the charges eliminated at adjudicatory hearings or at trial if charged as an adult. There are several additional ways to avoid having a conviction permanently entered on your child’s record, including probation and, where applicable, pre-trial diversion programs.

Pre-trial diversion programs are available in Collin and other counties and allow first-time offenders the opportunity to have their arrest and conviction wiped off their criminal record, provided they complete the program and then file and expunction.

There are many steps involved in the juvenile justice process. Depending on your child’s age and the nature of the crime, he or she may be tried as a juvenile or as an adult.

The juvenile justice process involves:

  1. Arrest and booking: if your child is arrested, he or she will likely be taken into custody and taken to the juvenile detention facility for booking. Booking involves entering your child’s name, photo, and fingerprints into their records, along with the reason for their arrest.
  2. Police questioning: Any statements made to law enforcement personnel during questioning can be held against your child. Your child has the right to tell police that he or she doesn’t wish to speak with them. As a parent, you may also tell the police your child does not want to talk until you can find a juvenile crimes attorney to represent your child during questioning.
  3. Police custody and detention: After being arrested, your child may be released into your custody, pending a hearing or detained in a juvenile facility for a short period of time. Federal regulations prohibit holding juveniles in adult jail settings for longer than six hours and mandate that they must be kept isolated from adult inmates. You child also cannot be held very long in a juvenile detention facility without a detention hearing. The judge will review your child’s case and decide whether your child should continue in juvenile detention.
  4. Intake: The prosecutor’s office will decide whether to dismiss the charges, divert the case, or request a formal intervention by the juvenile court. At this stage, Mac Morris will do his best to eliminate your child’s charges or seek admission into the pre-trial diversion program on their behalf.

As you can see, the process is serious business, and a conviction on your child’s criminal record can prevent him or her from getting into college, getting a good job, or getting a driver’s license. No matter what the situation, Criminal Defense Attorney Mac Morris can help you protect your child’s future. You can trust Mac Morris to protect your child’s rights and secure the best possible results to make sure your child can move forward with life without having a mistake holding him or her back.

Call Mac Morris for a free consultation at (972) 885-6325.

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