How do you support a loved one facing DUI charges? Should you even try to help them, or do you think they deserve what they are going through for driving under the influence?
If your loved one gets into a DUI case, your first reaction will probably catch you off-guard. It is natural to feel angry and disgusted because drunken driving is a serious offense. However, you might soon find yourself praying for your friend or family member as they may land into deep trouble due to the DUI charges. You will also feel thankful that they are safe and alive despite driving under the influence. As the dust settles, it becomes clear that your loved ones need your support to get out of the fix.
When a loved one is facing DUI charges, you must be there for them physically and emotionally, as they require your presence on both fronts. It will probably be hard for you to overcome your anger about their negligence and irresponsibility, but when a loved one is facing DUI charges you must support them, no matter what. Here is the best advice to be on their side.
How to Support a Loved One Facing DUI Charges
- Avoid being judgmental
The last thing you should do in the role of a supporter is judge the person facing a criminal charge. After all, the situation may already be painful for them, and seeing others criticizing them can make it even harder.
Not all DUI charges are actually due to wrongdoing. People get into trouble for legally consuming prescribed medication, driving when they are fatigued, and sleeping in the car with the ignition running. In fact, there are chances of facing a charge when one misjudges their tolerance levels.
Guilt is not the only reason for DUI charges, as it may happen due to an unintentional mistake. So, when a loved one is facing DUI charges, you should support them by being empathic rather than judgmental and find a way to lend a hand in the crisis.
- Research the local DUI traffic laws
Extending support to a loved one facing DUI charges is easier said than done, as you may not even know how to handle the situation yourself. Researching the local DUI traffic laws is the best place to start because the guilty person is likely stressed out, but you can take a more objective view as an outsider.
Even having a basic understanding of the legal side of things can make you more confident and helpful. So, if you want to support your loved one who is facing DUI charges, collect technical information such as the difference between DUI and DWI, what happens at the DUI stop, and the possible punishments for this offense.
- Get legal help
Gathering legal information on the local laws is only a start. You must take a more practical approach. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of helping a loved one facing DUI charges is to get legal aid to build a robust defense plan.
Look for a seasoned DUI criminal defense lawyer to maximize the chances of getting a favorable verdict. A lawyer gets you on the right track, from timing the hearing request properly to presenting a viable defense to minimize the punishment.
Remember that, no matter how confident you are about their innocence, you should not try to be a lawyer for your friend or family member. A qualified lawyer is the best person to handle the case. So, if you want to support a loved one facing DUI charges, get the best criminal defense lawyer for them.
- Offer to be a designated driver
Getting back on the road after a DUI charge is not easy as a suspended license means your loved one cannot get behind the wheel. They may feel apprehensive about doing so even after the suspension period is over.
After facing DUI charges, you can support your loved one by offering to be their designated driver. Take them to appointments, grocery shop visits, and anywhere else they need to go. You could also volunteer to pick and drop them to work until they figure out an alternative arrangement.
Offering to be a designated driver is a small gesture that can go a long way to help someone dealing with the aftermath of a DUI charge.
- Lend emotional support
Besides helping your loved one handle the legal implications of a DUI charge, lend emotional support through the tough time. These charges can affect someone’s mental health, leading to issues such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
The best you can do to support a loved one facing DUI charges or after the phase is to spend time with them to ensure they do not feel isolated. Visit your loved one often, plan movie dates, or hang out with your family or friend group. Remember to keep alcohol out of the equation.
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A DUI charge is daunting as it can deprive the driver of the freedom to be on the road. Besides hitting them financially, it can also affect their reputation and mental health. So, when a loved one is facing DUI charges, be supportive instead of making them feel worse by judging them. Ensure they have a robust legal defense to clear their name and provide them the emotional support to breeze through the crisis. If your loved one is facing DUI charges, don’t allow them to go through the trauma alone.
This is a contributed post.
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