Juvenile criminal law
Juvenile criminal law: When your child is suspected of a criminal offense, you naturally want to do everything you can to help. Especially if your child has also been arrested and is detained at the police station (or perhaps even in a judicial juvenile institution), you are fully committed to do what is necessary and getting him or her back home as soon as possible. After all, children should not be locked behind bars. But how can you best help and where exactly should you start?
Our specialists have extensive experience in juvenile criminal law and provide you with advice and assistance at every stage of the procedure. We ensure that the age of your child and the impact of the prosecution are central in our approach. In light of this, we urge you to contact a specialized juvenile lawyer as soon as possible if your child is suspected of a criminal offense. We can tell you exactly what your position is and help you and your child with everything that follows.
If your child has been arrested as a suspect and / or questioned by the police, you have certain rights. The police is obliged to point this out to you from the start. For example, you can visit your child at the police station and you can be present at the police interrogation. During this interrogation your child does not have to answer questions, although it may of course be wise to do so. Do not rely solely on what the police advise you. While they may do that with the best of intentions, in many cases your interests diverge. It is all the more important to speak to a specialized juvenile lawyer first and determine together what the appropriate strategy is for your child at any given moment.
Right to a lawyer
As a suspect of a criminal offense, your child is always entitled to the assistance of a lawyer, which, in most cases, is financed by the government. This right also implies that your child may consult with a lawyer before the first police interrogation and is also entitled to assistance from that lawyer during the police interrogation. For this purpose you can give the police the name of your own lawyer or the lawyer you prefer. If you do not provide this, a lawyer will be assigned to you. You are not obliged to agree with this if you do not wish. You can call in your own lawyer for your child at any time. In principle, the police must always wait for the arrival of your lawyer. Therefore, consult with a specialized juvenile lawyer as soon as possible about what you can do best.
If the police and judicial authorities state that your child has committed a criminal offense, the case can be settled in various ways. The most common are a settlement through the HALT agency (if it is the first time, a (conditional) dismissal, a sentence and a subpoena to appear before the juvenile court judge). The way in which the case will be settled depends on a number of factors. The most important factor is the available evidence, but also previous judicial infringements, your child’s personality, and possible damage and victims.
It is important that you do not stand alone during this process but have the help of a specialized juvenile lawyer. This is especially important as the settlement and punishment will be placed on your child’s judicial documentation and may have repercussions for the VOG (statement of conduct), future education, job or obtaining a visa.