No parent wants to receive that dreaded phone call from their beloved child telling them that they have been arrested and need their help getting out of jail. However, if you do get the call, it is important that you are prepared to put your emotions aside and act quickly to take the steps necessary to protect your child’s rights and give them the best chance at getting out of the situation without a criminal record that could jeopardize their future. One of the most important things you can to help your child is to get them into contact with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon after their arrest as possible. However, many parents are unsure if the law allows them to pay for their child’s attorney. Below, our knowledgeable attorneys explain whether a parent can pay for their child’s Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer and how we can help get the charges against your child downgraded or dismissed.
Is a Parent Allowed to Pay for Their Child’s Criminal Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia?
You are permitted to hire and pay for a lawyer for your son or daughter, no matter if they are a juvenile or an adult. In fact, anyone is permitted to pay for a Bucks County criminal defense lawyer for anyone else in Philadelphia. However, one important thing to note is that even though you are paying for the attorney, this does not mean that you are entitled to know what is discussed between the attorney and your child in private conversations. Attorney-client privilege still applies, even if you are paying for the attorney and even if the client is your juvenile child.
How the Criminal Justice System Will Work for Your Juvenile Child in Philadelphia
The juvenile justice process in Pennsylvania is an entirely separate entity from the adult system. As such, much of the terminology in the juvenile justice system is different from that used in the adult court system. Rather than being charged with a crime, juveniles have a delinquency petition filed against them. Instead of being found guilty, if the charges are proven the child is said to be “adjudicated delinquent.”
There is no bail in juvenile court, and typically the juvenile intake unit will choose to release the child to their parent or guardian. In rare cases where the child has committed a very serious crime that could make them a public danger, the intake unit may recommend detention. In such a case this can be challenged at a hearing, and you should contact a skilled Philadelphia juvenile defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long right away so that we can prepare to make the most persuasive argument for your child’s release to your care.
In many cases, we may be able to negotiate a deal where your child’s case is dismissed in exchange for them completing a pre-adjudication diversion program. Other possible deals include juvenile probation or the charge being downgraded to something less serious, like a violation of a municipal ordinance. If you and your child choose to take the matter to trial, our veteran trial lawyers are ready and able to fight for their innocence in the courtroom. Note that there are no jury trials in juvenile court – all cases are decided by a judge. A juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent will be labelled a “delinquent child” and will face a disposition hearing where a penalty of some sort will be handed down.
How the Criminal Justice System Will Work for Your Adult Child in Philadelphia
In some cases for low-level crimes or infractions, your adult child may simply be issued a citation with a court date on it and allowed to go on their way. Usually, however, someone who the police believe has committed a crime will be arrested and taken to the local police station for the booking process. After booking they will be held in the station’s holding cell or at the local jail until their preliminary arraignment and bail hearing can occur, usually no more than 72 hours after the booking process is complete, but often much sooner. For this reason, it is vital that you reach out to a skilled Philadelphia criminal defense attorney as soon after your arrest as possible.
At the bail hearing, the judge will decide whether your child can be released from jail while the case proceeds through the court system, and, if so, at what amount bail should be set. Our experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long know how to make the most persuasive argument for your child’s release on little to no bail based on such factor as the nature and the severity of the charges against them, their criminal history or lack thereof, and their ties to the community.
At your arraignment, our Philadelphia arraignment lawyers will likely advise your child to plead not guilty while we collect all the evidence, file any necessary motions like motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure, and try to work out a deal with the prosecutor for your child’s charges to be downgraded or dismissed. If your child is a first-time offender, we may be able to get them into a pre-trial diversion program where their charges will be dismissed. Other possible deals include the charges being downgraded or the prosecutor recommending a lenient sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. If you do not wish to take a deal, our battle-tested trial lawyers are ready and able to fight for a not guilty verdict in the courtroom.
If Your Child Has Been Arrested, Call Our Philadelphia Defense Attorneys Right Away
The best thing you can do for your child if they have been arrested is to reach out to a skilled Philadelphia criminal defense attorney for college students and other juveniles like the lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon as possible. The quicker we get to work on your child’s case, the better chance we have of getting the charges against them downgraded or dismissed and resolving the case in a successful manner. Call our office today at (661) 432-1480 for a free consultation.