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You should minimize the impact of a juvenile crime on your child

Being a parent isn't easy. You have to walk a fine line to balance wanting the best life for your child and ensuring they grow up to be a responsible person. In order to do so, however, teens often have to learn by making mistakes as they grow up. Sometimes, those youthful mistakes can have dire consequences for your child's future and your family.

While you may want your child to learn from their mistakes, tough love isn't always the right choice for helping a teenager facing the consequences of a bad decision. When your child is facing a juvenile criminal charge, they need support from their loved ones, not castigation.

You can drive home how serious the mistake was without abandoning your child in their battle against the criminal justice system. After all, a criminal conviction at a young age could have a profound and lasting impact on your child's life.

Simple mistakes can mean criminal consequences

There was a time not so long ago when teachers and law enforcement alike would adopt a forgiving attitude toward a child accused of wrongdoing. Whether the issue is fighting in school hallways or shoplifting, the potential for a criminal conviction is a serious concern for a teenager. Knowing this, in the past, people in positions of authority might have adopted a more forgiving attitude toward youthful offenders.

Those days are long gone. Teachers and administrators are likely to call law enforcement over minor infractions these days. Similarly, retail stores may press shoplifting charges over relatively minor theft issues. Police won't just bring your child home with a warning. They will arrest them and build a case for criminal charges. If you are not willing to support your child in this time, they may end up suffering the consequences of that criminal prosecution for years to come.

Help your child defend against pending charges

One of the best things you can do to help your child at this junction is to secure legal help for the charges. Without adequate legal representation, your child could end up facing incarceration or probation. More importantly, there is a criminal record to consider. In the case of a minor drug offense, a conviction or guilty plea could mean losing out on student aid forever. A good defense can make all the difference.

In some cases, it may be possible to avoid a conviction by completing community service or substance abuse counseling. If a conviction has happened, you may want to look into the potential for expungement of the conviction or having your child's record sealed.

The options available will very drastically depending on the nature of the offense. It's important to understand that Texas takes juvenile offenses seriously. In order to protect your child, you should have a proactive approach to addressing the pending charges.

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