When a loved one makes a mistake, it’s natural to want to help. But you may not know what to do. Here are ten things you should never do when your loved one makes a mistake:

Try to explain to the police

via GIPHY

Trying to explain your loved one’s behavior to the police isn’t going to help them escape charges.  In that moment, they don’t care.  You might have good intentions, but the police have a case to build.  And you don’t want to get yourself arrested in the process.  So, save your information for the criminal defense attorney.

Behave in a hostile way towards the police

The best thing you can do as far as the police are concerned is politely decline to answer any questions. Acting in anger does nothing to help your case, and may provide grounds to enhance the charges.

Try to control a plea offer

Your loved one has to live with the consequences of his or her decision to either plead guilty or go to trial. While you’re allowed your opinion, ultimately this decision is theirs to make.

Speak for your loved one

Your loved one’s priorities and wishes may coincide with yours, and they might not. You can ask questions, but allow your loved one to have his or her own opinion as they work on their case.

Stop them from working

Employment is important so that your loved one can pay court fines and probation supervision fees. He or she may also argue for reduced jail time due to employment. Don’t do anything that sabotages your loved one’s attempt to hold onto his or her job while the case is pending.

Excuse their bond conditions

If a person violates their bond, they go to jail until the case resolves. Don’t suggest that your loved one violate their bond in any way.

Destroy evidence

You may have evidence on a cell phone or in an email. Even if you’re not sure how relevant it is, save it. Your loved one’s criminal defense attorney can determine if it’s helpful information.

Lie to your loved one’s attorney

A criminal defense attorney does their best work when people are honest with them. The attorney needs complete information in order to help your loved one in the best way possible.

Refuse to attend court

Your loved one is understandably nervous. Usually, they appreciate having supportive friends and family with them.

Make snap decisions

Dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s mistake can be stressful. Now’s not the time to make a snap decision, unless of course the offense involves violence against you. Take life one day at a time, to start.

If your loved one makes a mistake, it can be hard to know what to do. There are ways that you can support your loved one without enabling them. The right support can help your loved one as they face difficulties and work towards a brighter future.

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Feature photo by: Allef Vinicius
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