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What happens when a family member has criminal legal trouble?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense

One of the first thoughts on many family members’ minds when a loved one gets arrested is often to seek assistance. This is completely natural.

This is especially common with parents. However, there are some things that might affect your decisions to help — or your expectations about what helping means.

Can you speak on someone’s behalf?

It is important to realize that criminal charges are all serious. The things people say might have consequences. Actions might have consequences, too.

For example, police might come to your home and want to speak to you. If they do not have a warrant, then you probably have the right to refuse them entry.

How involved would you be in a family member’s criminal case?

Even if you pay for someone’s defense, you might not be able to be as involved as you want. This is because of how the attorney-client relationship works.

There is a duty to keep certain information about the case confidential from others. Simply paying for the legal work does not entitle you to know these things.

In short, you would probably not be able to determine the legal strategy. Your loved one might even determine that the best course of action is to keep most details secret.

How do you learn more about the case?

It is completely natural to want to know what is going on in a case that affects your family. However, your loved one’s exercise of civil rights might be protecting everyone. That said, there are often several public records that could show you how the case is progressing — even if you are not close to the private consultations.