Your teen is young, so you know that they’re still going to make mistakes. What you weren’t expecting was for him to be accused of assaulting a fellow student in his dormitory. You don’t believe that he did, but the other student already filed charges.

It’s important to get ahead of this situation. Your child is a teen, but they’re also a legal adult. Assault charges could ruin their opportunities at school and in life long after if they end up being convicted.

Your initial concern may be the legal penalties, but you should also remember that your child could be affected at school. They could lose their place in their school program, lose scholarship funds or be told they can’t live on campus. Any financial aid that you receive for their schooling could also be revoked.

It is wise to talk to your attorney as soon as you know that your child is in trouble. You should also talk to your child about retaining information, such as text messages or recordings of talking with friends, if those pieces of evidence could help support that they did not commit the assault they’re accused of.

The reality is that misunderstandings can lead to someone filing charges. There are also people who will file charges because they want to hurt another person. If that is what happened to your child, they deserve the opportunity to defend themselves. It is in their best interests to contest the charges and to make sure they don’t admit to a crime that they didn’t commit in hopes that it will make the situation better.

Our website has more on what to do if your child is facing criminal charges.

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