What Do I Do if My Minor Child is Arrested in Ohio?
If your minor child has been arrested or is being questioned by police, a lawyer can help protect the child's rights.
It can be shocking when a parent gets a call from the police saying that a child has been arrested. Even a young child can be arrested and could be held in the Juvenile Detention Center until he or she is brought before a judge or magistrate. What should a parent do when this happens?
Should I retain an attorney for my child?
The juvenile justice system is very similar to the adult criminal justice system. The juvenile defendant is entitled to an attorney and most of the other constitutional rights that an adult enjoys. So use them. If your child is detained by the police, or even if the police merely want to question your child, your first move should be to retain an attorney for your child. If you cannot afford one, ask the court to appoint one for your child. Usually, the child will go in front of a judge or magistrate shortly after the child is detained. Be prepared for that pre-trial hearing. At this time a trial date may be set. The court may release the child to a parent to await trial, but it may not. The court may order "pretrial detention" for your child, keeping him or her in the detention center until the trial date.
Can My Child Avoid Pretrial Detention?
It is common for the court to attempt to hold a juvenile defendant for a week or so after an arrest to conduct a risk assessment to determine whether it is safe to release the child. If the charge is very serious, the judge may try to keep the child in pretrial detention until the trial date. Have a lawyer for the child present even at the first hearing to try to challenge any attempts for pretrial detention.
What happens after the initial detention hearing?
The case will be put on a path toward trial. A child who is determined by the court to be delinquent can be punished in numerous ways, including time in the Juvenile Detention Center, in a rehabilitation facility, or in the Department of Youth Services, which is juvenile prison. Again, it makes good sense to retain an attorney who can represent the child during negotiations with the prosecutor, and if necessary, at trial, to minimize repercussions to the child and his or her future.
Don't Underestimate the Seriousness of a Juvenile Charge.
Even though it is not adult court, the juvenile justice system can impose severe sanctions against the child, including jail or prison. Take it seriously. Be on time for all court hearings. Make sure at least one parent accompanies the child to all hearings. The attorneys at Dearie, Fischer and Mathews have decades of experience representing children in Juvenile Court. Feel free to call us if your child is accused of any offense.
Call Jim Dearie to discuss how to protect your juvenile's rights.
Article submitted by Jim Dearie.
James A. Dearie has been a practicing attorney since 1993. He has represented clients in civil, criminal, and traffic cases at all levels of the Ohio court system, including the Ohio Supreme Court. He is an active member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Warren County Bar Association, and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Read Jim's profile here.
The lawyers of Dearie, Fischer & Mathews will help you through the legal process and defend your minor child's rights. Call us today.
Dearie, Fischer & Mathews LLC
In Lebanon or the greater Cincinnati area, call 513-696-6765.
In Beavercreek or the greater Dayton area, call 513-696-6765.
Serving Warren County, Butler County, Montgomery County, Greene County, and all of Southwest Ohio.