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What should I tell my child to do if they're arrested?

Teenagers are likely to make a few mistakes during these years. They may try something reckless or test what they can get away with, but it doesn't make them a bad kid. Unfortunately, it can be complicated for children of immigrants if they are arrested.

Immigrant families who want to have a talk with their teenager about staying out of trouble may want to talk about what to do if they are arrested. Being convicted of a crime can have long-term effects that last long after their youth is over.

This is especially true if they are charged with a serious crime. For instance, a child between ages 15 and 18 will be tried as an adult if they commit a violent crime in Arizona. If your child is at least 14 years old and has two prior felonies, they might be tried as an adult if they are arrested for a third felony charge.

Talk to a lawyer

Parents may want to tell their child that if they are arrested, they have the right to ask for an attorney right away. After that, they do not have to talk to the police until their attorney arrives. This is their right under the Sixth Amendment. Once they ask for an attorney, they can call you and you can call counsel.

Regardless of whether or not your child and/or you are immigrants, parents should consider consulting with an attorney as soon as possible. This is especially important for immigrant families, as there could be a risk of deportation as well. An attorney experienced in criminal and immigration defense can help with both issues.

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