No parent wants to see their child in handcuffs facing criminal charges and a record. Unfortunately, kids are young. They make mistakes and do things without understanding the consequences of their actions.
When these behaviors result in arrest and criminal charges, it’s not just the child that can be looking at serious consequences. Family members can also suffer repercussions.
Parents, siblings and extended family members can be scared and angry when a young person is accused of a crime. They worry about their reputation and their loved one’s safety. They get scared every time the doorbell rings, fearful that police are there to make an arrest.
And if a child is 17 years old, he or she could be charged as an adult in Texas, making the situation that much more stressful.
Academic and professional setbacks
If your child is in high school or college, going to jail or prison can derail their education. In some cases, a young person never gets back on track. Further, other children in your family can be distracted by everything that’s happening and struggle with school themselves.
Parents can also be stressed and unable to focus at work, which could affect their job performance.
When a teen is in trouble with the law, familial relationships can experience great strain. Some people might lose faith in each other or get angry at a parent’s imagined failures. Between the finger-pointing and varied responses, relationships can break apart.
Confronting these challenges as a family
There is no question that a young person’s legal troubles affect the family. However, you can protect your family and mitigate the fallout of criminal charges.
First, securing legal representation can provide loved ones with an understanding of what they can expect and their legal options, helping everyone feel more informed. A lawyer can also help you avoid missteps that could jeopardize a young person’s case.
It can also help to talk to a professional about the situation, either individually or as a family. If you have never been involved in the legal system, it can be overwhelming and distressing. Having a counselor or therapist can help you cope with these feelings.
Criminal charges do not just affect the person facing criminal penalties; they also take a toll on families. However, with the right support, it can be easier for families to navigate this difficult time.