What to Do When Your Child with Special Needs Has Been Arrested and Charged with a Sex Crime
As a parent of a child with special needs, you may feel overwhelmed and helpless if your child has been arrested and charged with a sex crime. It is a situation that no parent wants to be in. However, it is important to know that you are not alone and there are steps you can take to protect your child's rights and ensure a fair trial. At Manosh Payette, LLC, we have the specialized experience to understand the precarious situation that you and your child are in. We will discuss what to do when your child with special needs has been arrested and charged with a sex crime.
Contact an Attorney
The first step when your child has been arrested and charged with a sex crime is to contact an attorney who specializes in this area of law. A criminal defense attorney will be able to provide the legal representation your child needs and guide you through the legal process. When choosing an attorney, look for someone who has experience working with individuals with special needs and is knowledgeable about the specific laws and regulations that may apply. Your child is unique, and their lawyer needs to get up to speed very quickly about exactly how their new client makes decisions and how they communicate. As upset as you may feel, it is important to gather the strength to help your child's lawyer fight in a courtroom the way you have fought for them in many other settings.
Understand Your Child's Charges
It is important to understand the charges against your child in order to build an effective defense. Depending on the circumstances, your child may be charged with a range of sex crimes, such as sexual assault, indecent exposure, or possession of child pornography. The severity of the charges and the age of your child will play a significant role in the legal process. You will be learning the law as the lawyer is learning your child's medical, social and educational history. It truly is a team that is comprised of the people who care the most about your child.
Advocate for Your Child
As a parent of a child with special needs, you are your child's best advocate. It is important to work closely with your child's attorney and provide any information or documentation that can help build a defense. You may also want to seek out resources and support groups that can offer guidance and understanding during this difficult time. If you have medical records, school records, or anything else relating to your child's unique needs, gather those records and have copies ready to share.
Consider Treatment Options
In addition to a legal defense, your child may benefit from therapy and other treatment options. Sex crimes can be complicated and often involve underlying psychological issues that need to be addressed. Many courts will look favorably on a defendant who seeks treatment and takes responsibility for their actions. As a parent, you can help your child access the resources they need to start the healing process. Discuss this option with the attorney before making any decisions.
Prepare for the Long-Term
Even if your child is found not guilty of the charges against them, the legal process can have a lasting impact on their life. It is important to be prepared for the long-term consequences and work with your child to develop a plan for moving forward. This may involve obtaining job training, accessing mental health services, or continuing therapy. Oftentimes, the conduct that led to the charges being filed needs to be addressed with a comprehensive plan to avoid any future missteps (for example, safe online behaviors or discussing affirmative consent, etc). By taking a proactive approach, you can help your child regain their sense of self-worth and overcome the stigma associated with being charged with a sex crime.
Though it may be a challenging and distressing situation, if your child with special needs has been arrested and charged with a sex crime, there is hope. By following the steps outlined above and working with an experienced attorney, you can protect your child's rights and ensure a fair trial. With support and guidance, your child can access the resources they need to move forward and start the healing process. Remember, you are not alone, and there is help available. Manosh Payette, LLC has experience working with individuals who are differently abled and uniquely special. Contact Manosh Payette, LLC, because your future deserves the best defense.