Should I Teach My Child a Lesson By Waiting To Bond Him or Her Out?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

Several times a month I receive a call from a parent who has not bonded out their child.  The reason is they want to teach their child (however old) a lesson.  I completely understand, but this thinking is misguided.

I do not doubt that the parent is well intentioned.  However, most jails do not want to hold someone on misdemeanor charges.  The jails are over-crowded with more people being arrested daily.

As a result, most people who do not make bail within 2-3 days are taken to court and offered the choice to plead guilty to time-served.  The family members are not alerted about these court appearances, and in larger counties they often occur in courtrooms inside the jail.

As a result, people often plead guilty to offenses that could potentially be defended.  People also plead guilty to offenses that have alternative punishments available.  These offenses include, but are not limited to, possession of marijuana and minor in possession of alcohol.  No one should ever plead guilty to a first offense that qualifies for an alternative punishment.

So, keeping your child in jail can result in a lifetime criminal record for offenses that should not even be prosecuted.  It can also result in their driver's license being suspended for offenses such as DUI, Minor in Possession or consumption or alcohol and possession of marijuana.  Those suspensions can often be avoided with proper legal help.  The judge and the prosecutor both have roles that do not include providing legal assistance to unrepresented young people.

I understand parents are upset when their kids are arrested.  However, be rational.  A young person without legal training is not capable of making decisions about their case.  There are other ways to punish your child including withholding financial help and taking away their access to your vehicle.  Once convicted, a lawyer cannot undue what was done in court.  The outcome of their court appearance is forever.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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