By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
I get asked this question a lot where the child is 17 years old or older and in adult custody.
Unfortunately there is no right answer though I wish there were. I don’t have a stake in the issue so I advise parents to do what they feel is best because they know their children better than I do.
Parents should also take to heart this truism: there is no right answer.
Leaving your son or daughter in jail does not make you a bad parent nor does getting them out. I’ve seen parents who do both for understandable reasons.
For clients who have serious drug issues — parents might tell me they leave their kids in jail because at least they know they’re safe and not using drugs. Drug cases (other than marijuana) take a long time because the drugs must be tested at a lab which could take months. Parents, then, have a while to decide how long to leave their son or daughter in jail.
On the other hand, I’ve had parents who feel their son or daughter learned their lesson through the shock of being arrested and taken to jail and bail their children out at the first chance.
The only time where I strongly feel a client should be freed is if they are in a position to plead guilty just to get out of jail. This would be a jail stay normally well in excess of 10 days. Pleading guilty to get out of jail creates long-term damage for short term gain.
Normally on a drug or DWI case, the decision to bond a loved-one out of jail is long before it’s time to make the ultimate decision to plead guilty or take the case to trial.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any situation you should contact an attorney directly.