If your spouse has been charged with a crime, this can be a stressful time for you and your family. Working through pending charges, preparing for court, and dealing with a possible conviction can be stressful and emotional for your spouse, and something they might not be able to navigate on their own. Sometimes the emotional and practical support a spouse can offer can indirectly and directly guide the outcome of a pending court case or trial. Here are five things you can do to support your spouse if they have recently been charged with a crime.
1. Don’t Get Angry
The most important thing you can do for your spouse is to try your best not to get angry at them or the situation unfolding. This is a time in your spouse’s life when they will need your support more than ever, and may need to rely on you to navigate the process. Communicate with your spouse about what happened and what the next steps will be for their charges and your family. While there might be some fall out down the line or factors out of your control, keeping a loving, supportive environment available for your spouse can be a huge help when dealing with immediate factors surrounding a possible crime.
2. Don’t Delay Taking Action
While you might be reeling from your spouse’s criminal charges, this isn’t a time to shut down. Your spouse might be processing what happened, and you may be called upon to spring into action to help. Find an attorney that can immediately get to work on your spouse’s case. There might be documentation that needs to be gathered, follow-up with police, and items and documents that will need to be filed for court cases. These things can come with urgency and processes you might not understand on your own, but a criminal defense lawyer can help with.
3. Be There for Your Family
Criminal charges can cause upheaval in your family, especially if this has impairs your spouse’s ability to drive, if they have to spend time dealing with court or police matters, or need to seek out treatment. Anything that you can do to keep schedules moving your family, the better. This might involve moving your own daily schedule around to get kids to activities and appointments and shouldering more responsibilities around the home. If your spouse is depressed, stressed, and emotional about recent events, try to bring some levity to your family life and schedule outings or activities that can keep your kids busy.
4. Seek Out Treatment
Regardless of whether or not your spouse is ultimately convicted of a crime, charges can be a wake up call if your spouse is hiding something such as an addiction. They might need to seek out treatment or help from professionals, especially if drugs, alcohol, gambling, or violence is connected to charges. This step in the right direction will not only help your spouse recover, but could also help minimize charges in court with judges that look favorably on recovery and making amends.
5. Find Support for Yourself
Don’t minimize the emotional impact your spouse’s criminal charges can have on you as well. If you have stepped up to the plate and are doing the heavy lifting to keep your family intact, helping your spouse recover, or navigate the legal system, you might need support as well. Seek out a therapist or support group for yourself so you don’t have to be strong on your own with no emotional outlet.
Regardless of the severity of the criminal charges your spouse might be working through, your continued support could make all of the difference in the short term. Working with a skilled criminal defense attorney can be a comfort, but also will be your best chance at minimizing or having charges thrown out. If your spouse has been charged with a crime, contact us to help your family weigh options on the table and move forward with a plan in place.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.