What to do if your child has been arrested
Crosby & Woods often receive enquiries from parents seeking advice and representation either before or after their child has been arrested for an offence.
We understand that for most parents this can be devastating and for those who have never had any dealings with the police, most parents have no idea what to do next. We hear from parents who need help if their child has been asked to attend the police station to answer questions in relation to a suspected offence, who feel that their child has been wrongfully arrested or have been mistreated by the police.
Receiving a knock at the door from a policeman, a note through the door or a phone call telling you that your child has been arrested can be upsetting, particularly as this can often occur late at night or in the early hours of the morning when solicitor’s offices are closed and parents don’t know what to do.
Crosby & Woods can help you.
If your child has been arrested you can contact us. We will be able to phone the police station on your behalf to obtain information why your child has been arrested. We will be able to attend the police station either with you, if you are able to act as an appropriate adult, or with another person nominated by you or the police to act as an appropriate adult.
You will want to be sure that the police have acted appropriately by arresting your child; they cannot do so without having reasonable grounds to suspect that they have committed an offence and it is appropriate for them to be taken to a custody centre to be detained. We will be able to make sure and make representations to the police if they have not acted according to the law.
Most parents most importantly want to make sure that their child is safe, knowing that their child will often be just as frightened as they are about what is going to happen. We can provide you with the information and advice that you need.
We can also assist you if you have received a policeman’s card through the door. This will usually simply ask you or your child to contact a policeman in relation to an offence. We often hear from parents who respond to these themselves believing this to be the right thing to do, only to find themselves speaking to an investigator and giving evidence against their child. We can ensure that you protect your child (and yourselves) by speaking to that police officer on your behalf, to ask why they want to speak to your child and if appropriate we will arrange a time for you, your child and a solicitor from Crosby & Woods to attend the police station at a mutually convenient time to be interviewed in relation to the offence.
Don’t make the mistake of attending the police station unrepresented believing that this is the right thing to do. Most people respect and trust the police, as they should do, as they protect the law, but it must not be forgotten that the police want to speak to your child as they believe that they have committed an offence. We often find that parents are reluctant to involve a solicitor thinking it will make your child look guilty if they involve a solicitor; this is a common mistake to make. We usually find that the assistance of a solicitor puts you on an equal level with the police, reassures you that you are doing the right thing, prepares you for what to expect and often achieves a better result. For example we may be able to advise your child whether to exercise their right to silence or to admit the offence if they are eligible for a reprimand or final warning as an alternative to a criminal prosecution.
We have heard many parents tell us that their child admitted an offence believing that this what the right thing to do only to find out at a later stage that they hadn’t committed an offence – sometimes adolescents want to keep their friends out of trouble without realising the implications that this can have on them in the future when they apply for jobs or education. This is where we can help, we advise you on the law and whether the police can prove an offence has been committed.
If your child has attended the police station already with or without a solicitor we can assist you if your child is bailed or summonsed to attend court for an offence.