How to Support Your Child Charged With a Sex Crime
Sex crimes are serious accusations, and for those accused it can be a difficult and confusing time. If you're the parent of someone charged with a sex crime, here is what you need to know so that you can support them to the best of your ability.
1. Understand Your Rights (and Theirs)
Finding out your child has been charged with sex crimes can be scary; however, it's important to know your rights in this situation. Before taking any action, speak to a lawyer about your best course of action. If your child has been booked into a juvenile detention center, you must be notified immediately. Children in detention can be held for up to 72 hours, during which there is usually a hearing to decide whether or not they will be released into parental or guardian care.
2. Learn About the Potential Penalties
As a juvenile, your child may be facing fewer penalties than if they were charged as an adult. However, this can still include incarceration, fines, and community service depending on the circumstances and ruling. A conviction can also include having to register as a sex offender. Speak with your lawyer about potential outcomes and what they think is the best course of action going forward.
3. Consider Their Schooling
If your child has been accused of sex crimes while still in school, the allegations alone could impact their standing. This is especially true if the accuser goes to the same institution. If the school is involved, it's important to ensure that your lawyer knows about any procedures that might be enacted against your child. United Educators found in a five-year study that 67% of perpetrators of college sexual assault stated that their schools did not follow their own disciplinary measures regarding sex crimes. If your child's school isn't upholding its own rules, especially in the event that your child is cleared of wrongdoing, it's important to have your lawyer notified.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do if your child has been accused of a sex crime is to support them as much as possible. Find an experienced lawyer to represent them, preferably one with experience pertaining to similar cases. This way, your child will have the best chances of clearing their name and getting back to living their life.