You’ve probably already dismissed this post as not being relevant to you. But wait, before you click away to find out who the Daily Mail has been stalking this week, think for a moment. The law is vast and complex, and we wouldn’t rule out so quickly that you will never be charged with a crime.
You probably won’t be guilty, but you will still need to know how to defend yourself. You will need to understand how to cope with the effects being charged with a crime can cause. So, if you ever find yourself in the terrible situation of being charged with a crime, here’s what you need to do.
Step One: Stay Calm
If you ever get a knock on the door from the police, you may start to panic, and if they then charge you, the situation could get worse. You could start shouting, react violently or aggressively and try to prevent your arrest. Again, you may think this would never be you but you would be surprised what people do when they feel trapped. Unfortunately, anything you do or say can be used as evidence to find you guilty of the crime you are being charged with. Remember, stay calm and listen to everything the police are saying. At this point you probably know you are not guilty of what you are charged with so hold on to that fact. But, even if you are, remember you still have the right to a proper defence.
Step Two: Get Support
Chances are, unless the crime you have committed is serious, or you are considered dangerous you will be released on bail until your hearing. Once this happens, it can seem like it is a good idea not to tell anyone what has happened. This is far from the case though because you will need people around you for support during this difficult time. Remember, if you are not guilty, you have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. If you are, then the crime still might have been a mistake, or you may not have been in a sane state of mind when you committed it.
Step 3: Contact Your Lawyer
You may already have a lawyer at your disposal, or you might have to search for one. It is a good idea to find a lawyer who you know will represent you if you are ever charged with a crime. This will often be a preemptive measure, but it can be comforting to know you already have legal support at your beck and call.
Step 4: Plan Your Defence
Finally, once you have a lawyer, you will start planning your defence as a team. Remember, guilty or not you have the right to a fair trial. This means if you can produce evidence to show either you are innocent, or that there were mitigating circumstances you will not be found guilty.