Friday, June 27, 2014

Boise Criminal Attorneys - When to Turn Your Child In - 208-472-2383

Boise Criminal Lawyer and Juvenile Offenses

One of the more difficult areas of criminal law is juvenile law; not because the laws are more complex but because it can be a very emotional area of the law.  As a Boise Criminal Attorney I often counsel parents who are considering turning their children in or those who have already done so.  The behavior of the juveniles range from relatively minor offenses such as possession of a very small amount of marijuana or coming home drunk from a party to very dangerous and serious offenses like possession of large amounts of drugs like marijuana, meth or prescription drugs, DUI or sex related crimes.  Parents generally are very stressed out and need help dealing with the bad behavior of their children.  While I counsel them in the law, I always stress the importance of finding a mental health professional to help them with the emotional and psychological issues these kind of stressors create.  While I have a few professionals whom I may suggest to them, I always tell them they need to find the right professional for them.  A friend, a lawyer, any of the many web directories can all suggest the best mental health professional, but they need to find someone with whom they work well.

What Causes Juveniles to Engage in Crimes Such as Possession of Marijuana, DUI, Intent to Distribute or Sex Crimes?

As a Boise Criminal Attorney I often see these juvenile crimes through the eyes of a Boise Divorce Attorney not because these juveniles are availing themselves of a Boise Divorce Lawyers, but because divorce can create acting out issues for children and teens alike.  While children may manifest the stress of divorce by wetting the bed, extended crying at a parent's absence or acting out at school, juveniles often act out in more destructive ways.  This will often manifest itself in partying, possession of alcohol or possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.  Teens may also engage in activities which aren't exactly criminal in nature, but left unaddressed may become criminal; ditching school, untempered behavior and the like.

Not all juvenile behavior is the result of divorce, but some can be the result of the family law context.  For example, people may be having family law issues which create juvenile issues for teens.  A teen who is sexually abused by a step-parent or step-sibling may themselves become a sex offender.  Teens may run away and engage is prostitution.  Teens who see violence in the home or who are victims of violence in the home may become abusers themselves.

There also is a certain amount of "normal" teen acting out which may get out of hand and become criminal in nature.  Further down this spectrum is when you have a "normal" family but there is conflict between the teen and one of the parents.  There can be jockeying for power or resentment at parental control.  If these situations are not handled carefully they can result in serious acting out leading to criminal behavior.

When do You Turn Your Child in to Law Enforcement?

This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer.  Psychologists tell me that tough love is the answer.  Cut your child off.  As a parent, myself, this seems beyond harsh.  Tough love proponents say the only way to get a kid to stop their destructive behavior is to let them hit rock bottom.  Helping them is only enabling them. The problem I have with this approach is you can set your child up to be embroiled in the legal system and once they are in there it can be difficult to extract them.  The other issue to consider is that you may set your child up to have one or more felony charges.  A felony charge never goes away.  They may be able to get a withheld judgment, but there is no guarantee of that especially if they have several felony charges.

So do you just let them keep destroying their life and yours?  Do you continue to enable them?  This is not what I am suggesting.  I think that availing yourself, your teen and your family to the help of mental help professionals really needs to be the first step, unless of course the teen is threatening or engaging in a crime that can cause serious bodily injury or death to themselves or another.  Having been a criminal attorney for over 20 years I have seen what the system can do and I have seen how mental health professionals can help prevent harm.

Take advantage of that free online directory and find a mental health professional to help you through this situation.  If you are more comfortable speaking with a Boise Criminal Attorney we would be happy to help you too.  What ever you choose, the choice has to be yours and should never be made in the heat of anger or frustration.  Your child's life is at stake.  It is understandable that you want to help them, but please take the time to consider the best way to help them.  Too many times parents come to me who have turned their child in.  They often say, "he is really a good kid", "she just hit a rough patch", "we decided to teach them a lesson" and bang they are entangled in the legal system.  Ultimately, however, you have to decide what is best for your child.

If you need to speak to a Boise Criminal Lawyer, give us a call, (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Criminal Law in the Divorce Context

Criminal Law in the Divorce Context

I have blogged before about the overlap of criminal and family law.  But summertime is a prime time for the two to overlap. So today I will spend a few moments discussing what not to do to prevent your Boise Divorce Attorney from having to become your Boise Criminal Lawyer.

Custodial Interference

Summertime, like Christmas and Spring Break are a time when vacations and holidays change up your visitation schedule.  Conflicts arise due to flight changes, activities and the general busyness of summer.  A court ordered visitation schedule or a court ordered temporary order schedule is undoubtedly in place if you are in the process of divorce or have gone through a divorce.  It should be well outlined in your schedule who has visitation, times for return and what happens if a change needs to be made.  Some people flow with this very easily.  For others, there is great strife.

So, how does criminal law come into changing a visitation schedule?  If your order says that you get your kids for two weeks during the summer and outlines when they are to be returned and you fail to return them and you fail to get the appropriate written consent for change or out-of-state visitation, the other party can seek the help of the authorities and have you charged in a criminal context.  Custodial interference is something that judges do not like.  Your divorce decree or your temporary orders should be very specific about return times and changes and out-of-state visitation.  Don't get caught up in the criminal law system. Make sure your read your order and get back on time or have a written agreement to the contrary signed by the other party.

DUI, Domestic Battery and Sumer-time Fun Gone Bad

Summertime, like the holidays, is another time when criminal lawyers and divorce attorneys, alike, see an uptick in drinking related offenses.  This can appear in things like DUI, because people tend to drink alcohol more heavily in the beautiful days of summer or during the winter holidays when people are gathering to celebrate.  While a DUI does not technically fit into the divorce law context, the drinking involved, which ultimately may lead to driving under the influence of alcohol, can spill over into the family law context.

Often, though not always, domestic battery is precipitated by drinking.  When you drink you lose your inhibitions.  Built up frustration can lead to anger and anger can get out-of-hand.  Don't let that happen.  If you drink, first and foremost, don't drink too much.  Avoid getting into discussions when you are angry.  You get relaxed when you drink and often people bring up difficult topics when they are drinking because they are relaxed and more comfortable about addressing issues which they may be unable to talk about without drinking.  If you find yourself in this situation, and you notice that either you or your partner get agitated, angry or violent, seeking counseling.  It can be a very helpful way to get issues on the table to discuss.  Much more helpful than alcohol.

If you need a Boise Divorce Attorney or Idaho Criminal Lawyer, give us a call, 208-472-2383, and see what we can do for you.