What to do When a Family Member Is Charged With a Crime?
Witnessing a family member getting into a criminal charge can be a traumatizing and nerve-racking experience. As soon as the arrest of the member, the family is bound to make some crucial decisions to handle the situation. Regardless of whether the family member is guilty or innocent, what matters the most is how you handle the situation after the course of the arrest.
While there must be a dozen questions and solutions buzzing in your head following the criminal charge, there are a few things that need to be done and which will be helpful. In this article, we’ve discussed five steps that you must take to support your family member when they are charged with a crime. Read on.
- Understand the Crime and Its Implications
Before you can help your dear one with the offense, it’s imperative to understand the crime and its implications. Whether it’s a domestic violence or sexual crime charge, make sure to dig deep into the legal terms and look for ways to help your family member. Oftentimes, there are minor loopholes in the complaint process which you can catch and present your point. But that would only be possible when you are well-versed with the legal terms. This takes us to our next step, which is contacting a lawyer.
- Consult a Criminal Defense Lawyer
While you might desperately want to help your family member get out of the rut, you can’t do something without legal assistance. Thus, consulting a criminal defense lawyer is the most sensible thing you can do to support the person. While some cases might be resolved without taking help from legal professionals, crimes like sexual assault or child pornography can’t be dealt with without the guidance of sex offense lawyers. Especially if you are accused of a false sex crime, these cases are very sensitive and need a lawyer who can build a strong defense case to diminish the false charge.
- Stay Cautious
Your first instinct is to help the other person, but you need to be careful with a criminal case. It’s like helping the person while staying out of the entire picture. This is particularly to be followed when you know that your family member is guilty of the crime. If you involve yourself in the name of help, chances are you will be charged as an accessory to the crime. For instance, if you try to prevent their arrest, you might also end up in prison and bear the possible consequences.
- Collect Evidence
No matter at what stage you’re at the crime scene, keep digging hard for relevant evidence that might help your family member in some or the other way. For this, it is again advised to take help from a criminal defense lawyer and work with them to find pieces of evidence. You might also guide your lawyer about the potential clues that you might think can help strengthen the case, and the lawyer will investigate it. These legal professionals have connections that you might not have, and that’s why having a lawyer by your side is always a good idea.
- Offer them Emotional Support
Regardless of what happened and how it happened, as a family member, all you can do to truly help the person is to show your emotional support. And if they’ve been charged with a false case, they need you the most. Let them know that they can trust you with the entire case handling and will always be there to protect them. This is because getting into criminal cases can be a traumatizing experience for the arrested person. Many people find it hard to get out of the trauma even after everything is resolved. Thus, be sure to stay by their side each step of the way and give them a comfortable and secure space where they can share their thoughts and feelings with you.
Getting charged with a crime is quite a challenging phase for both the victim and their family. Thus, in the end, it comes down to hiring the right criminal lawyer who can offer the best chance of having a good outcome in the trial. Thus, before you hire a lawyer, make sure to consider a few factors like their qualification, past successful cases in criminal cases, and honest client reviews.
You can also ask your extended family and friends for a good recommendation. An experienced legal professional, coupled with the support and love of the family members, will definitely improve the situation and give hope to the arrested family member.