You get the call from the police, telling you that your teen got arrested. The first thing you think is simple: Why would they do this? Why would your child get into this type of legal trouble?

There are many potential reasons. One of the main ones is a lack of life experience. Teens have not seen enough or done enough to always make wise decisions. While the long-term ramifications appear obvious to you, your child may honestly have not thought about it or not understood it at all.

Outside influences also play a role. What type of people has your child grown up around? For instance, many teens see crime on a daily basis. For them, it does not stand out as illegal or unnatural behavior. They may simply follow the crowd and find themselves in trouble when they get caught.

Similarly, peer pressure can have an impact. Many teens want so desperately to be liked and to fit in that they will do things they should not do in order to achieve this social status. Your teen may feel very remorseful after the fact, but it could be hard to avoid that behavior up front.

No matter why the incident took place, one thing is clear: Your child’s future may be in jeopardy. What would a criminal record mean for high school, college or a career? What type of path could this event send your child down? If you really want to protect him or her, as all parents do, you need to know about all of the criminal defense options you have.