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5 ways family can help in the criminal defense process

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | blog, Criminal Defense

When a family member faces criminal charges in Mankato, MN, it can be a challenging and distressing time. The arrestee needs your support and advocacy to help them navigate the legal process.

Still, you must understand where and how you can offer the most benefit, often through emotional support. There are several steps you should know to be an effective advocate for your loved one.

1. Understand the charges

The best way to help your loved one is to ask questions and learn more about what they are going through. As an advocate, work with them to understand their charges and what they are potentially facing.

2. Know their rights

Familiarize yourself with your family member’s rights under Minnesota law, including their Miranda rights. There is no shame in not knowing; the law is complex and multifaceted, so it is important to do your research and talk to those more knowledgeable.

3. Be mindful of emotional well-being

Incarceration can create or worsen mental illness and health. The role incarceration has on mental well-being varies from person to person. The loss of autonomy, family disconnection, and the unpredictability of the arrest and subsequent jailing are alarming and distressing. As an advocate, ensure your loved one has access to emotional support.

4. Attend court proceedings

Facing a possible criminal conviction is stressful, and the process can feel lonely and overwhelming. You can help alleviate loneliness by being present whenever possible or wanted.

Attend every court proceeding if that is what your family member wants. Always be on time for court, even as an attendee.

5. Communicate effectively

Maintain open and clear communication with your family members. Ensure they understand the legal proceedings and the options available to them.

Also, act as a bridge between them and the outside world if they are in jail. Always respect your family member’s privacy and confidentiality. Avoid discussing their case with others without their permission.

Being an effective advocate for your loved one is about being their emotional support through this trying ordeal. You can offer relief and compassion when they may feel there is little in the world. Advocacy is difficult, but it is possible and worthwhile when doing it for someone you love.