How to Navigate Social Settings with a Criminal Charge Against You
It is your constitutional right as a United States citizen or resident to be innocent until proven guilty. Still, what often happens when you have a criminal charge brought up against you is the very real stigma that you face from society. An assumption or a rumor, if repeated enough times, starts to be perceived as the truth in the minds of people. If you live in a medium-sized and relatively affluent city such as Everett, Washington, the news in the local dailies mostly revolves around small-time criminal allegations and DUI incidents. The linkage of your identity with a criminal allegation can harm your reputation and make you feel like an outsider in society. Here are some ways to cope if you find yourself in a situation like this:
Know your rights
Under federal and Washington law, you as the defendant and the accused have certain laws in place to protect you. These include the obvious such as the right to a lawyer or the right to remain silent. It can also include other rights such as the right to a speedy trial or the right to due process. These rights are present to preserve equality under the eye of the law. The most important thing for you to do at this time is to contact a criminal defense attorney in Everett, Washington for legal advice. Everett has criminal defense attorneys who are extremely well-versed in state laws specific to your case. They can provide you with the solid legal support that you are going to need in such a situation.
Talk to your family
It is understandable that your family might be going through a lot of complicated emotions if a criminal charge has been brought up against you. At this time, you should speak to them and try to understand their positions while affirming your own position. Remember that to get through this difficult time you are going to need the support of your family. In particular, have a talk with your children, who might be facing difficulties at school. Explain to them the concept of innocence until proven guilty. Beware of posting on social media as this can have unexpected consequences on your trial.
Seek professional help
It is completely understandable if you feel overwhelmed and caught up and need help processing your feelings. This is not always possible with close friends and family as judgments might be involved. Added to that, you might be experiencing PTSD or similar symptoms if you have been in a violent accident. You might also be feeling guilt, blaming yourself or worrying about your future. To address these issues and also gain individualized advice on how to deal with friends and family and society at large, you might consider visiting a licensed therapist or counselor.
It is undeniable that having criminal charges brought up against you can turn your life upside down. During this time, it is important to be true to yourself, lean on your support networks, and seek professional advice.