For Parents of Defendants
I am often contacted by a defendant's parents. The arrest of your child is a traumatic process. I am glad to answer your concerns. Here are some common questions I receive.1. Will this go on my son's/daughter's record?
Great question. Criminal convictions can affect employment, federal benefits, child custody, and the ability to obtain certain licenses. I work to minimize, if not eliminate, these consequences in every case. Will your child's criminal charge go on their record? Like most legal questions the answer is "it depends."
It depends on what the charge is, and what the final result of the case is. If the case is dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty then the case may be eligible for expunction. If there is plea of guilty, it may not be possible to remove this offense from your child's record.
Most criminal charges are eligible for deferred adjudication. This means that if the defendants completed probation (without getting revoked) the defendant will not be convicted of that offense. Your child's record would then contain an arrest but no conviction. These cases are also not eligible for expunction.
Drug cases- A drug conviction can prevent a defendant from receiving certain federal benefits, including student loans. These charges could also result in a driver's license suspension. I will explain how we can prevent these issues from affecting your child's future.2. Should I hire an attorney or bail out my son/daughter?
A lot of parents are torn between making bail and hiring an attorney. Every parent wants their child out of jail. However, when you have to choose between bail and an attorney you are facing two problems, a short term incarceration problem and a longer term legal problem.
Short term problem- Child in county jail. This is unbearable for many parents. Having a child incarcerated is not easy. Hiring a bail bonds company is the quickest way to make bail. An attorney can file motions to get the bond reduced, but that takes time. However, spending your money on bail does not solve the longer term legal problem- which is the criminal case.
My advise- For serious felony offenses I would recommend hiring an attorney first. Your child may end up spending more time in county jail. However, hiring an attorney early can help avoid a long jail sentence when the case is over.3. My child "did it", shouldn't we just accept his punishment and plead guilty?
In a word, NO! The criminal justice system is a horrible way to teach your child responsibility. The criminal justice system is a blunt tool that is organized to maximize revenue (fines etc) and handle the largest number of people. Even if you believe your child is guilty you need an experienced lawyer to protect his/her future.
Attorney-Client Privilege- Finally, I must inform all parents that I cannot share certain information with them. I represent the defendant, even if the parent pays my retainer and hires me. I always keep parents informed of court dates and other important case information. However, attorney-client privilege will prevent disclosure of protected information.
Parents must realize that if they talk with their child about the case those conversations are NOT privileged. Parents may be subpoenaed and forced to testify in court. I will work to make sure that this doesn't happen. Call me or contact me online so we can discuss your child's case.
Juveniles today face harsh consequences from criminal charges. From TYC incarceration, sex offender registration, to being tried "as an adult" the juvenile justice system can forever impact your child's future. I know the difficulty parents and juveniles face from the criminal justice system. I understand that much juvenile criminal behavior can be the result of home/school stress, mental health issues, abuse, or simply the frustration of being a juvenile in today's society. From deferred adjudication to pre-trial diversion, I will present all the options to safeguard your child's future.
I handle all juvenile criminal charges including:
- Sexual Offenses
- Drug Offenses
- Assault and Violent Crimes
- Truancy/School Related Criminal Charges
Call me at (972) 564-4644 or contact me online if your child has been charged with a juvenile offense.