What to Do If a Member of Your Family Is Charged with a Crime

What to Do if a Member of Your Family is Charged With a Crime

It doesn’t matter if it has happened before or if this is the first time. Nor does it matter if your loved one is guilty or innocent. The arrest of a family member is a traumatizing, dramatic experience for the whole family. This is often the time when serious decisions are made, and big changes occur in everyone’s life. Emotions are running high and it is easy to feel scared when this happens. Keep these life tips in mind when a family member gets arrested to help get life back to normal as quickly as possible.

Understand the Crime

The first step, and also the most important, is to know why the arrest happened. What are the exact charges and what laws were broken? Find out what the potential punishments could be. Ask as many questions as you can in the initial minutes following an arrest. You will want to tell these statements to a lawyer as soon as possible. Once an arrest occurs, be sure to document everything that happens and everything you are told by authorities.

Keep Your Distance

Your first instinct will be to do whatever you can to help your loved one during this time. You may even be partial to what happened before an arrest is made and want to help sort things out before the police arrive. This is a time when emotions are running full throttle, everyone is panicking, and mistakes are easily made. Although you mean well, you can be charged with aiding and abetting a crime or harboring a fugitive. Allowing someone who has committed a serious crime to hide out or spend time in your home can get you in real trouble. These are crimes that can land you in jail with hefty fines. It is possible to help without putting yourself in harm’s way. Providing a ride to an experienced criminal defense attorney is a step in the right direction.

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

In such a serious and time-constrained situation, the thought of finding the best lawyer can be daunting. It is difficult to know where to start and the options are confusing. The best solution is to use a criminal defense attorney in Maryland with extensive experience. This is key to having your family member properly represented from the very first stages. In the very beginning, before things get started, a quality Maryland criminal defense lawyer will be able to accurately represent your family member in a detention hearing in front of a commissioner and judge.

  • Detention Hearing – During this court proceeding, the court decides whether to hold the defendant without bail.
  • Commissioner – A commissioner is a lawyer who is appointed by a judge to act in the capacity of a judge. A commissioner is a judge equivalent that performs all duties a judge would.
  • Judge – A judge is an appointed official who governs over court proceedings. A judge performs a variety of duties including deciding how a trial will be heard, guilt or innocence, and makes legal rulings based on precedent.

Your quality criminal defense attorney in Maryland will be able to properly assess the case and have the know-how to negotiate with prosecutors in the best interest of your family member. If needed, your defense lawyer can also help with criminal appeals after the trial.

For more information on what to do when a family member is arrested please contact us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable legal staff can help you and your family member make these difficult decisions.