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How parents can support teens charged with crimes

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Criminal Law

One of the worst days of parenthood is getting The Call — the one that comes from your child while they are under arrest at the police station. But how you respond to that unexpected call can affect the trajectory of that child’s court case.

The National Governors Association has some important information about the collateral consequences of incarcerating our nation’s young people. Below are some key points.

One mistake shouldn’t ruin a young life

Bad actions carry consequences. But that does not mean that every youthful indiscretion should strip an arrested teen of all their present and future opportunities. Below is just a partial list of consequences facing those with felony convictions:

  • Loss of Second Amendment rights – Those who rack up a felony conviction can lose the right to bear arms. That includes recreationally for hunting, for protection and even for employment in law enforcement or security.
  • Denied or rescinded scholarships and financial aid – Teens planning on attending post-secondary education can see those chances permanently denied to them.
  • Loss of earning power – It might not be apparent now, but what happens during the teen years can limit the amount of money earned over a lifetime. Not all career paths (especially to some higher-earning industries) remain open to applicants with felony convictions.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and consequences can even extend to the family. Many people don’t realize that felons can’t live in public housing that can include Section 8. Relatives of felons could be forced to move in order to keep their family unit intact.

Be your child’s best advocate

If your teen or young adult gets arrested, learning more about the legal ramifications may leave them better able to dispute their charges.