It is every mother and wife’s worst nightmare, and a crushing surprise to most others: answering a phone, receiving a ticket, or finding out in any other way that your loved one has been arrested. Although most will never have to feel the heartache, anger, concern, and frustration that is felt when a person finds out that someone they hold dear has been arrested and or/charged with a criminal offense, many others will, and the choices that they make immediately afterwards often have a dramatic impact on everyone involved.
In some unfortunate circumstances, people use these instances as “lessons” to teach their family member, but this is often a mistake. Once a person has a criminal record, it is easy to get caught up in the system. The penalties imposed by the state of California will make it more difficult to live a legal lifestyle. A conviction can disqualify a person from a job, government assistance, and many other things that the average citizen takes for granted.
The fact that you are here shows that you are dedicated to helping your family member. The following are ways in which you can help give you and your family the best chance of being successful during this difficult time.
Speak With a California Criminal Defense Lawyer
Why is it important to speak with a defense attorney? Because that is what we went to school for: to learn how California laws are enforced and prosecuted so that we can help those who are facing charges avoid a conviction. News stations have built empires off of embellishing alleged offenses that portray every-day citizens as heartless monsters, but the truth is, those that violate the law rarely do so because of a lack of conscience or an inability to tell right from wrong.
Many law violations are desperate acts. Those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction are busted every day and portrayed to look like horrible people. Others who cannot support their families financially make desperate mistakes that land them in custody. Regardless of the situation, most people that commit crimes are not bad, but have instead lost their way.
With assistance from a skilled defense lawyer, not only will the courts have a better understanding of who the defendant is and why they committed their crimes, but so will you. Without an experienced lawyer investigating both sides of the story, prosecutors may have a better chance of portraying your family member as an offender who may strike again. If so, the courts will take action to keep your loved one in custody to protect the public.
In Custody? Tell Them to Keep Quite.
Going to jail can be very scary. Although this may be their first time, some of those who are with him or her may be “regulars”. A common topic while in custody is “What are you in for?”. Make sure they know that any conversation willingly had with an inmate may be used against them in a court of law. Basically, anyone they speak with, other than their attorney, may use that information to try and lower their own sentence.
Talking to people is OK. Talking about alleged crimes is never a good idea. Even if the information that they tell cellmates is conflicting when compared to the story that they told police, it may become a problem down the road.
Don’t Take Advice from Anyone but an Attorney
I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken to a person who believes that they already know everything that they should to help their loved one. That they had spoken to someone that was not an attorney, but knows how the system works, and that what they said conflicts with the information that I am telling them.
It is an unfortunate truth, but a truth nonetheless: a lot of people will give you bad information concerning cases that can ruin your chances of success. I have assisted countless people facing criminal charges and have been very successful in doing so. In fact, I have even won a jury trial in which my client confessed to his crimes to his arresting officers (no it did not have to do with his Miranda rights).
Make sure that your loved one is not acting on bad advice and that he knows not to trust anything about his or her case that did not come from a skilled legal professional.
In Jail? Put Money on Their Books
If they are still in jail, showing up and putting money on their books will help them tremendously. Everyone has basic needs: soap, toothpaste, and toothbrush. By putting money on their books, you will be giving them what they need to purchase these types of items.
Need More Help?
There are other things that you can do to help your loved one be successful. Call (888) 250-2865 today to find out what aspects of your case are especially important via our free confidential case evaluation. There is no obligation to retain our services and the information you receive could help you avoid costly mistakes.