Parker County Today November 2017 - Page 100

Does your child have the same right to remain silent? child know and understand this? And, more importantly, is your client strong enough to make the request? In any situation which could involve a crime (i.e., assaultive behavior, drugs, alcohol, sexting, bullying, to name a few), your child should know and understand, it is fully within their rights, and more importantly, it is okay, to politely inform anyone questioning them, whether a school official, police officer or other, that they wish to speak to their parent and their attorney before answering any questions. Being that you do not know the nature of the interview and/or whether your child is being questioned as a fact witness or as a potential suspect, it is imperative that your child know that they must not speak until they speak to their parent and their attorney. They must be strong enough to make the request and refuse to answer any questions, no matter what is said to them after that point. They are not admitting to anything. They are not making things worse for themselves by invoking these rights. They are simply protecting themselves until they can speak to their parents and attorney, and determine how to proceed. Furthermore, once the child is alone with the parents, depending on the severity of the crime that may be involved or alleged, especially if it involves a potential felony crime, it is important that the child not speak, in detail, to even the parents. There is no child/parent privilege in Texas law either. So, to not to create parents as witnesses against their own child, a detailed discussion, initially, should be had with the attor- ney and the child to be most safe. Obviously, as a parent, you may be able to decipher the severity of a situation and determine if an attorney is needed immediately through your conversations with the police and/ or school official, before speaking directly to your child. If you question the situation, or the severity, it is wise to consult an attorney prior to a discussion with your child. Tim Mendolia, Partner, M&P Law Office, 6900 E. Interstate 20, Aledo, Texas 76008, 817.546.4100, a general practice, including, criminal, family, juvenile, civil, real estate, business law since 1994, and since 2003 in Parker County, Texas. Tim is a member of the Texas Bar Foundation and 2017 American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys. BY TIM MENDOLIA, Attorney At Law How many times have we heard, or as we get older, say … the world is a different place now? Fights in school were resolved by a coach or a vice-principal with maybe some licks, and the kids were sent back to class. Teenagers caught with alcohol watched the officer pour it out and were sent on their way. Such is not the case now. Both of these situation [\H[[\]XH[[Y[[XBܚ[Z[[\\˂[]Y\[\[ ]\H\[[Y[^H\H[۝[]^H[[XZ\[[]\H^KY’Y[\[\X[[X[ܚ[Z[[\\[\[^X]^H[H۝XY[܈Z\[Z[[\Y]YHBٙXX[܈HXK]\\[\HH\KHٙXX[[ ܈HXH[[\Y][\[]][KB\[ Z[\[܈][]\KYH[\]Y\[ۙY [Y[YYH[\K\[ KKHY[XZ[[[ BY]H[]ܛ^H[ ܈Z\\[\[ H\H\]Z\YB][H[ \\][[ܙH؛[X]X[[\Y]\BۙXYHٙXX[ XX\[\[܈[[ܜK\œ][[\H\]H[\YHXZ]\[[H\KY[܈][[K[][ZY[\[\Y][H\YYZ[B[[HX][ۈوHܚ[YKۛH[H[\XY[˜\K\H[\Y]\[][[KܛX[KHXK\B\]Z\Y[X[\[و\܈\Z\[HY KKHY[XZ[[[ HY[]ܛ^KH[\]Y[HXوBܚ[YK[\[KH[]X[]Y\[ۚ[وH\X ][[H܈Y[ \\[\H܈Y\Z[XY[\\\ ]]\[[[\Y]]HYK[[H][[x&\\K]\H[X^H\[܈[H\[\\[ ^\]Y\[H]Y\[ۚ[و][[\[HH[\܈Y[ˈY\[\[\HY[XZ[[[[œ\]Y\H\[Hو\\[ YH[܈\[ۈ\H[[]ܛ^K[Z[\H[H\HY][HH][[K[BۜY\YZ]\وXYˈH]Y\[ۈXY\\[\NX\HK]Yܙ][[H X\ۋ[X\H Y[XK[[HY[XBL K[\]H ۝YH ][Y ^\ MˍM L  MˍM L ^