The Right Way and Wrong Way to Tell Your Family About Your Arrest
Sometimes the only thing more difficult than getting arrested is having to tell your family about your arrest. As hard as this is, you must do it. They may feel disappointed, frightened or angry, but they can also provide the support and love that you need, even as they work through these emotions. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to follow when letting them know.
- Do consider where and when you’ll share the news. You may want to choose a semi-public place where you can speak quietly, yet they’ll feel compelled to control their emotions. Alternatively, a fully private space, like the family home, might be most appropriate. It depends on the dynamics of your family–you know them best.
- Don’t blurt out the news spontaneously. You might be itching to get the talk over and done, but this information shouldn’t just come out in the heat of a moment. You might choose a moment when your loved ones are least likely to be receptive to listen and lend support.
- Do explain the circumstances of your arrest. Deliver the news in a gentle yet direct way. Generally describe what happened, the charges against you and the next steps. Speak in a low, comforting tone and be prepared to answer questions that they may have. Try to stay calm even if they become upset. If you have a lawyer, reassure them of this fact. If you don’t have a lawyer and need help finding one, ask them for their aid.
- Don’t delve into the details of your case. Your lawyer, if you have one, may have told you to refrain from sharing certain information with anyone, including your family. Be sure to follow those instructions. If your family asks a question your lawyer has advised you not discuss, then explain that you can’t talk about that particular issue on the advice of your legal counsel.
- Do let them know how you feel about the arrest. If you’re feeling sorry and remorseful, let your loved ones know. If you are seeking professional help with a problem that led to your arrest, such as drug or alcohol abuse, tell them. Do everything to show them that you are trying your best never to let anything like this happen again–but only if it’s true.
- Don’t Lash out and blame. You might feel that the arrest is the fault of your family in some way, but it won’t help matters to start blaming them. Just give your news as quickly and directly as possible, then keep them focused on the next steps, which might be obtaining a lawyer, having a hearing, or gathering evidence for your defense. Let them know how they can help you through this.
If you or someone you love has been arrested and need a skilled criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, contact the lawyers of Razumich & Associates at (317) 983-5333. We’re in your corner.