If your child is in a legal situation where you must hire an attorney and go to Court, I help in these situations by conducting evaluations for youths including those accused of sexual misconduct. I have conducted over 500 evaluations in the last 18 years that have helped attorneys quickly resolve the youth’s case which resulted in no permanent record.
It can be a scary and stressful time for both the youth and the parent. I can help you and your child through this anxiety-ridden time by compiling a professional report for the Court that will best show your child’s strengths and desires for responsible behavior in recovering from this legal situation. It will also include your strengths as a parent that will help assure the Court that you can continue to supervise your child in a responsible manner throughout this process.
Your attorney will be able to use the evaluation to work with the Judge and prosecutor in deciding what is best for your child as well as the community. The evaluation consists of gathering the details of the accusations. Your attorney will provide any police reports regarding the alleged incident and any important information that will assist me in completing this special assessment report for the Court. I study the information carefully, then consult with your attorney before I meet with you and your child.
Then we meet. We discuss and sign confidentiality and consent forms. We discuss the case and how it has affected your family and we discuss what your hopes are for its resolution. Most parents are responsible and want the community to be safe, they want anyone affected to be able to heal, but they also want a fair decision to be made about their child. This information will also be included in the report. I then interview your child independently. There will be various evaluation surveys given that will help outline attitudes and thoughts toward personal responsibility, knowledge of moral and ethical situations, and attitudes toward delinquent behaviors. It also includes the child’s history. There is no “test” that can determine that your child is a ‘criminal’ or is “guilty” of the crime they are accused of. Nor can it make the assumption that your child is “innocent.” Youths in Travis County usually go through Juvenile court – not criminal court (unless your child is accused of an extremely violent crime.) A Juvenile Court Judge presides over your child’s case. I then formulate recommendations for the Court to consider. The report may include a recommendation for counseling. Or it may include a recommendation for parental supervision in certain situations. The reports however, do not include a statement that the child requires ‘incarceration.’
Once your attorney receives the assessment report, they will work hard to prepare for your child’s case. Your attorney may decide it is in your child’s best interest to share the report with the juvenile prosecutor in order to make decisions that will help the Judge. Your attorney will consult with you in order to decide what legal ‘direction’ you would like to take regarding your child. Psychological reports from experienced examiners like myself have helped resolve youths’ cases where they are able to show responsible behaviors yet have a successful life in moving forward.
Call me today for a free phone consultation to discuss your child’s particular situation to see how I may be able to help – 512-662-5934.