I just got a call from police – my teen’s in trouble with the law. What do I do?

If your teen is under age 18 and arrested, the police are required to contact you. Be ready to support your child and get involved.

Call a lawyer as soon as you can

Your teen has a legal right to have a lawyer. Depending on your financial situation, there are a few ways to find one. Read about available options to find a lawyer.

To get free legal advice and connect with a lawyer, call:

You can also find help in a legal clinic in your community.

If your teen applied for Legal Aid and was turned down, he or she has the right to ask the judge for an appointed lawyer. This right to a lawyer is guaranteed by law.

Once a lawyer is retained, don’t forget that your teen is the client. This means that if your teen tells the lawyer something in confidence, the lawyer cannot share that with you.

To help you understand the process, learn:

At the police station

If your teen is detained at a police station, go there as soon as possible.

You, a lawyer or another adult can be present during questioning. Legal advice is very important, particularly in understanding what statements you or your teen should be making to police.

Be prepared; moving through the justice process will take time.

Learn about how to help your teen at the police station and during the justice process.