12-year-old son; accomplice in burning home down

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Tuhua, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Tuhua

    Tuhua New Member

    :( A few days ago my son was an accomplice to burning an abandoned home down. The other boy admitted to it being his own idea and was the one that lit the fire, but my son was in the home and didn't report it.

    My heart is breaking, to say the least. My biggest question right now, as we wait for a juvenile hearing to be set, is whether I should be looking for an attorney.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice?

    Thank you so much
  2. kim75062

    kim75062 Active Member

    I don't have any experience in something like this but I would bring an attorney to any court case with me. You have nothing to loose if you do and a lot if you need one and don't have one there on your side.
  3. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    Many of the parents here have older children and therefore, no longer provide lawyers. However, a 12 year old is very young and I would definitely bring a lawyer.

    Good luck. I hope this is a life lesson for your son and not a pattern.
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    My step son used to do really bad things when he was young. He and a friend started a garage on fire when they burned leaves. They shot paint ball guns out of his attic bedroom window at cars going by causing a lot of damage.

    He got high on weed and then went to the principal's office to ask a question. He reeked of marijuana and they found some in his backpack.

    He went to culinary school in New York and was watching the Sox game and drinking beer in the dorm with another guy and decided to go to a bar and the other guy lit a paper on fire that was sticking out of one of the dorm doors. The dorm started on fire. He was charged with a felony because although he did not light the paper, he did not try to stop the other guy and/or put it out. Luckily his mother (my husband's ex) had a large inheritance and paid an attorney to get him out of everything. My husband, his dad, was very angry at his stupidity and would not pay for an attorney.

    Today he teaches culinary. He is in a relationship with a nice girl. He is a wonderful guy. I thought that he was our problem child. If you read my signature you will see that our youngest has caused us the most heartache.

    What I'm saying is that I agree with StilStanding, hopefully your son will learn from this and not make it a habit.
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I would find an attorney that specializes in juvenile law.
  6. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    This could affect you if he is found guilty and there is a civil lawsuit.
  7. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Are you also seeking a therapist for your son? Getting involved in an arson is not typical preteen behavior. Is he a follower?

    I agree that you, and your son, should seek legal advice.
  8. Tuhua

    Tuhua New Member

    Thank you for all your words, everyone. They are very helpful.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is a very serious charge. I would NOT allow my child to go to court for a charge this serious without a good attorney if I could afford one. By good I mean the best, most shark-like private practice criminal attorney I could afford.

    I would also let my child know that it is a one time thing. He gets ONE attorney. He has to work off the fees and whatever fines, restitution, etc... the court imposes. It will likely take a year or several years. His money in savings is no good. Only money he EARNS with hard work can go towards this debt. Why? It will keep him busy and out of trouble. It will help him figure out that if he does something like this, he has to pay a real price in hard labor. A steep price that likely isn't worth the momentary rush or pleasure or whatever he gets from doing the illegal act.

    Has your son been in other trouble? What kind of trouble? How is he with animals? Did he or does he have trouble with bedwetting? There is a reason for the questions.

    I would find a counselor that both you and your son like and can work with. Explore why he did this and what he should have done instead.
  10. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I would be more worried about a civil suit. A lot of insurance companies won't insure an unoccupied house because of the risk of fire and robbery. So, if the homeowner doesn't have insurance, he might sue you.

    If the judge finds that your son wasn't liable, that could play a significant role if a civil suit is filed. A lawyer could help.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Playing with fire is a serious symptom of possible childhood psychopathy and I feel he needs a total evaluation as much as an attorney. Has he ever played with fire before? Had other dangerous behavior? Is he adopted or had a turmulous first three years? Abuse? Early divorce/loss of a caregiver?

    Legally he is likely to get off lightly due to his age. Psychologically he could be on the way to big trouble if this is not his only time being so destructive. Fire obsession, inapproriate peeing and pooping and animal cruelty are the three big signs of a budding psychopath. Lack of remorse and acting out sexually would add to the risk.

    Get him serious help. Now.

    Good luck.
  12. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    He did not lit the fire but was in the house and did not report on who did the fire.

    Its either fear or well fear or fear or fear or fear or fear or just fear I wonder what it is?

    Honestly I do not see it as an issue with your child more like being in the wrong place at the wrong time and your son being his own person with flaws and all.
  13. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Only a trained and experienced mental health professional can determine if something deeper is going on with OP's son.

    Good luck OP.
  14. kim75062

    kim75062 Active Member

    I thought the same thing, fear and peer pressure can be debilitating depending on the child's personality. By the time the child internalized what happened it could of been to late to report it etc. kids are know to ignore things they don't like and hope it all goes away.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It depends on whether this kid has been around trouble before. Very few twelve year olds hang around when a peer starts a fire. They are young enough to want to get the hey out of there. If this is a model kid who never did anything wrong before, its different. We dont know this child's history and looks like the OP is no longer here. So guess we will never know, but she got good advice. This is illegal.