Here is a common story I here from parents with children in Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) detention lockup in Okaloosa County:
My child hit, slapped, punched, or kicked me.
I called the cops.
My child got arrested.
I didn’t want to ruin their life, just get their attention.
Now what do I do?
It is not easy being a parent. You can try to make the right decisions for your kids in terms of education and discipline, but these days our children’s’ circle of influence tend to come from places outside the home. Friends, school, technology, television, and the list goes on. Social and academic pressure–coupled with family dynamics only create more stress.
Emotional trials can lead to anger and errors of judgment. This can happen during an argument when a parent panics or feels like they have lost control of their son or daughter. But once that 911 call is made, you cannot take it back.
Now there are no doubt situations where domestic violence occurs and it is a serious issue that needs outside intervention and resolution. And if your family requires assistance through shelter, crisis intervention, individual and family counseling–and possibly the court system, then help is available. But not everyone needs the full-court press that comes with the criminal justice system and juvenile-judicial process.
So if you find yourself in that situation, please consider meeting with an attorney that has experience helping families and juvenile clients. At some point, most parents realize that more governmental involvement equals a diminishing return on their child’s rehabilitation. The stigma of being labeled a juvenile delinquent is long-lasting and not easily erased in our ever-increasing merit-based society. Colleges are getting more and more competitive and that means quality jobs are getting harder to get for young people. So if you want your child to have a quality future, then the legal result of their case matters in the long run.
There are ways to possibly avoid some of these labels for your child. There are things that can be done to help from a legal standpoint, options that may not have been considered for your child—that could lead to a better outcome.
If your son or daughter was arrested for Battery in Okaloosa or Walton County and you were the victim, give me a call at (850) 362-6655 for a free consultation.