You were at a college party when someone asked you to hold their backpack for them. They just needed to go talk to a friend. You’d been drinking, as had everyone at the party. You took the bag and went to sit on the back porch.
Minutes later, the police busted the party due to a noise complaint. Not only did they find out that you had been drinking when you were only 20 years old, but they also found illegal prescription drugs in the bag. You tried to explain that the bag was not yours and you had no idea what was in it, but they didn’t listen, and you got arrested.
You’re worried about a lot of things here: your continuing education, the fines that are coming your way, and potential prison time. But you’re also worried about telling your parents. How do you tell them what happened?
Anyone who has ever been in this position knows that it is a very hard phone call to make. It takes courage, and it is even more difficult when you have to call for help from jail for bond money. Shame and fear can motivate some of our most foolish decisions. Sometimes students pretend nothing happened, or they try to handle things independently, without help from parents or a support system. Putting off this responsible conversation gets harder with time, and it can end up blindsiding parents who are the best chance of support in the midst of a crisis that can change the course of your life.
The best advice that we can give students who are scared to tell their parents is this: Make the call. Contact your parents promptly and be honest about your charges, but do not tell them details about the event. You do not want to make your parents potential witnesses in your own trial. Tell them that you need their help looking into the next steps you should take. They may be scared, disappointed, and downright furious, but that conversation paves the way for you and your parents to begin looking into all of the legal options you have.
If you have been charged with a crime and have not contacted your parents or support system for help, call the Blackwelder Law Firm today. We can help you find your voice, identify next steps to being responsible, and may even help facilitate this uncomfortable, but necessary, conversation.