It can be painful to watch someone going through a legal issue. The process is generally drawn-out and makes the defendant feel powerless. Sitting on the sidelines can also feel powerless, but there are things you can do. Here are 4 steps to helping a family member going through a legal case.
Everyone Be on Your Best Behavior
A person going through legal issues should keep their nose clean at all times. That means that you should be on your best behavior when you’re around that person. It’s not a good idea to encourage drinking and other things that could make the defendant look bad or even get him in more trouble. Be a good influence for your friend and help them stay out of trouble. You might even want to suggest your friend informs the judge of their new, good behavior.
It’s tempting to compare a person’s case with something somewhat similar if you or someone else you love has been through a legal defense. The fact is that every single case is unique, and the comparisons probably don’t apply. Pointing out similarities and differences isn’t going to do much about the outcome, anyway.
Listen More Than Talk
Someone fighting a legal case may have a lot on the line. This means they’re experiencing a lot of stress. They don’t need someone telling them everything they know about the law or asking a million questions. What they really need is someone to listen to them. That is if they want to talk. Some people would prefer to not think about their legal troubles and save all of that talk for their criminal defense lawyer. If they don’t want to talk, don’t press the subject.
Don’t Give Them Legal Advice
Everyone thinks they are a lawyer. The fact is that your loved one probably already has a lawyer to go over the facts of the case. Your input isn’t necessarily helpful or even wanted. Keep the law to the experts. Instead of giving your friend all of your information, learn from them instead.
You don’t have to be uncomfortable when you interact with someone going through a legal case. In fact, they probably need normal interaction with friends and family now more than ever. If you do feel a little unsure of how to act, follow these steps to make the interactions as positive as possible.
Author Bio: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer living in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and indoor rock climbing. Find her on Google +