To Bail or Not to Bail

Filed under: Opinions

handcuffs and heart

Tough love. Could you do it? Photo: Jason Clapp/Flickr

It's probably second on the list of phone calls a parent hopes to never receive: The police telling you that your child has been arrested. Whatever they've done, it must be pretty bad and now you have a decision to make. Do you rush downtown and bail out your baby? Or do you let him sit and stew awhile and hope he learns something from the experience?

That's the predicament a Cafe Mom reader found herself in when her 18-year-old son was arrested for driving under the influence. He didn't just get pulled over for crossing the yellow line, either. He was involved in an accident that, fortunately, did not involve any serious injuries.

Now mom is trying to decide whether to let him sit in jail until his trial date or bail him out. She's admits that it is hard to see her son behind bars, but worries that by bailing him out she might be minimizing the seriousness of his crime. "Despite realizing that it's not really that uncommon of a thing for someone his age to be out drinking and partying some, I couldn't overlook the fact that he made a conscious decision to drive drunk," she says.

Almost unanimously, Cafe Mom readers agree that if he was big enough to do the crime, then he's big enough to do the time. But then again, it's easy to talk tough when it's not your kid, isn't it?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.