If your child was arrested and charged with a crime in Ohio, you are rightly very worried. Whether your child is an adult or juvenile, you may have many questions about their record, options, and where to turn.
Parents need to understand the legal process and make informed decisions that will best support their children as they move through the Ohio court system.
Understanding the Legal Process
There are distinct differences between the adult and juvenile legal systems in Ohio. The juvenile system emphasizes rehabilitation over punishment. Additionally, juvenile records are often sealed and expunged after some time passes. Adult records, on the other hand, are public and, in many cases, permanent.
The Ohio Juvenile System
The goal of the Ohio juvenile justice system is to get the child back on track to be a productive member of society.
When a juvenile is arrested, there will be a detention hearing to determine whether they should be held in custody or released to their parents or guardians. Adjudication hearings are fact-finding in nature and used to determine guilt or innocence. Disposition hearings will then determine the appropriate consequences and establish a rehabilitation plan for the juvenile.
The Adult Process in Ohio
When an adult is arrested, they will face several hearings. The first is an arraignment, where bail will be set, or they may be released without bail. Other hearings will depend on the nature of the charges, including misdemeanors or felonies, and how your criminal defense attorney handles the case. Ultimately, your adult child may go to trial for criminal charges to determine guilt or innocence.
Your Child Has the Right to a Lawyer
Regardless of your child’s age, they have the right to an attorney if they are accused or questioned about a crime. While you may be offered a public defender, they rarely have the time to dig into a case in-depth. When you hire a private criminal defense attorney, you get someone dedicated to your case.
How Parents Can Support Their Children
Your child will likely be distraught if arrested, especially if they are forced to stay in custody while their case is pending. Here are some steps to help support them during this time, including:
- Provide emotional support/li>
- Communicate openly/li>
- Listen to their concerns/li>
- Maintain a non-judgmental attitude/li>
- Attending hearings and court dates/li>
- Collaborate with your child’s attorney/li>
- Ensure your child has an effective attorney
You should understand the importance of legal representation for your child. Your child has a better chance of success in their case when you help them secure a qualified defense attorney.
Get Your Child a Lawyer ASAP
You can help your child get a lawyer when they are in custody. Don’t wait until their court hearings are scheduled — they have a right to legal counsel immediately after arrest.
The police will begin asking questions when they arrest your child. Your child should not answer any of them. The police will use anything said against them. Instead, work with a criminal defense lawyer to protect your child’s rights.
To find the best defense lawyer for your child, you can complete an online search for “juvenile or criminal defense attorneys near me.” You might also search for attorneys specific to the type of charges your child is facing. Particular cases an attorney can assist with include:
Common Questions for Parents
You likely have many questions after your child is arrested. We have answers. You can call Luftman, Heck & Associates to learn more about your child’s case.
How to Locate Your Child After an Arrest
If your child was arrested, you must know where they are located or which jail. You can contact your local police department or sheriff’s office to ask them where your child has been taken. You might also utilize online inmate search tools.
Your child may have been taken to the Hamilton County Jail, a local police station, or a Hamilton County juvenile facility. These facilities have different purposes. The police station is where people are held before being transferred to another facility. You can visit them once they are transferred to the Hamilton County Jail.
Juvenile facilities allow younger individuals a place away from more dangerous adults. If a juvenile is charged with a particularly dangerous crime, they may be held in Hamilton County Jail instead of a typical juvenile facility. They may also be held in a higher security location.
How to Get Your Child a Lawyer
Your child needs a lawyer if they are arrested, and they have the right to consult one before answering any police questions. While you may be eligible for a public defender, you can contact attorneys on your child’s behalf and arrange a consultation. During this consultation, you can discuss what you know about your child’s situation and where they are being held. From there, an experienced lawyer can explain how to secure their release or meet with them to review their options.
How to Communicate with Your Child While in Custody
Most inmates have visitation rights while they are in jail. You can schedule a visit with your child through the location that has them incarcerated. You can also communicate with them through phone calls and written correspondence.
Your child will be able to make calls to you from the jail. They must pay for those calls with money on their “books” or account. You can also send written letters to inmates, but keep in mind that the jail personnel will monitor and view anything you write in a letter.
Posting Bail or Bond for Your Child
After your child attends a hearing to set their bail, you may be able to bond them out. This involves giving the court (or a bondsman) money as a promise that your child will return for other court hearings. If you do not have enough money to pay the bail, you can get a loan from a bail bondsman.
What Can You Do to Help After Your Child’s Release?
There are specific post-release actions that can help your child avoid some of the harshest penalties. You can help them with bail and may be able to sponsor them if they are on house arrest after a conviction. Your child’s defense attorney can also explore options for diversion programs instead of going to juvenile jail or prison.
Skilled attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors to develop a plea deal that benefits your child. There are some benefits, including being able to reduce your charges and penalties. However, your child will likely have to plead guilty or no contest.
If your child wants to go to trial, you can help your child’s attorney build a strong defense. You may be able to help gather evidence, present an alibi regarding what happened, and provide further support in your child’s case.
LHA Can Help Your Child Today
If your child is arrested, supporting them as much as possible is essential. You may not understand why they acted the way they did or if they did it at all, but they are innocent until proven guilty, and you could be a big part of how charges are handled. Getting your child a capable attorney could be the difference in achieving the best outcome possible.
A criminal defense attorney or juvenile lawyer will protect your child’s rights and future. Being proactive and hiring an attorney before the police question your child will make a significant difference in your child’s case.
Call Luftman, Heck & Associates at (513) 338-1890 for help with your child’s legal case.