Whether you have one or more children, you've likely experienced the joys and excitement of parenting. You probably already know, however, that parenting is no easy task.
If you are one of many moms or dads in Louisiana whose child has been in trouble with the law, your emotions may have run the gamut from worry and fear to anger and sorrow. There are several things you can do that might help your son or daughter get life back on track.
Consider the risk factors
The moment you got the call from a police officer telling you your child was in trouble is an unfortunate memory that may never go away. If you've had the misfortune of receiving multiple phone calls like that, you might be feeling completely overwhelmed. It probably seems like yesterday when you were pushing your child on swings at the park or walking him or her to the school bus stop for the first time.
Now, in what seems like the blink of an eye, you're getting calls about juvenile charges and possible jail time. This leaves many parents wondering what happened and what can be done to prevent the same issues from happening again in the future.
One article looks at some of the risk factors juveniles face. These include things such as growing up with less financial means, lower intelligence and having siblings who also commit crimes. However, it is important to note that children and teens are individuals and while there are some risk factors often associated with criminal behavior, there is still no real way to predict whether or not a child will or will not get into legal trouble. Risk factors simply indicate that there may be correlation between certain background circumstances or characteristics and future juvenile crime behavior.
Navigating the criminal justice system
It can be frightening and confusing to watch a juvenile court try your child for a crime. No matter what has happened, you obviously love your child and want what is best for him or her. You can take comfort in the fact that you do not have to go it alone in the courtroom. By reaching out for support from an experienced juvenile advocate, you may be able to help minimize the long-term negative effects of your child's situation. It helps to have an attorney who offers the following:
- Is skilled and experienced defending minor age children in the juvenile justice system
- Is compassionate and understanding of your situation
- Has the primary goal of obtaining an outcome that leads to rehabilitation over incarceration if a conviction is handed down
- Provides resources and assistance regarding available programs and opportunities that can help steer your child toward a better future
Remember that you are not alone. Many other Louisiana parents have trod the path before you. A momentary lapse of judgment or even a string of events need not define the rest of your child's life. By relying on experienced and effective representation, you can take the first steps toward protecting your child's rights and helping him or her set and accomplish positive lifetime goals.