Dealing with a criminal charge is never easy for any person. If you are being accused of a crime that you did not even commit and are being prosecuted for it, then it could be quite stressful. You keep wondering why the prosecutor is coming after you and why they did not question the witness properly. You are also constantly wondering what will happen if you lose the case and keep imagining horrible scenarios in which you can end. But in such circumstances, it is vital for you to stay calm and act wisely to diffuse the situation at hand.

The American justice system is great, and it servers justice to millions of people every year. However, not all people get what they deserve. Miscarriage of justice happens in the US as well, and it is estimated that 2-5% of prisoners serving their sentences behind bars are actually innocent. Knowing things like these can be quite stressful. However, this also means that more than 95% of people do get justice, and if you fight your case with determination, you will be able to come out of it. Sometimes the innocents have also gone through this tough system, but that does not mean they are bound to face the consequences of a crime that they did not even commit.

When you are charged with a crime, the first thing you need to do is hire a lawyer immediately. American law is far from simple, and as a layman, you will not be able to navigate through it. There are so many complications involved in the law system that sometimes even the people who work in the legal system cannot understand it. The more you delay hiring a lawyer, the worse your situation will get. So, it is strictly advised that you look for an experienced criminal lawyer and bring them on board as soon as possible. There are hundreds of thousands of lawyers in the USA, and you will find a lot of options. But you need to go with the one who is not only experienced but is suitable for your case and understands it completely. It would be best if you also made sure that the lawyer is active in the area where you are facing criminal charges. So, if the charges were brought against you in Sacramento, then you will need to hire a Sacramento Criminal Lawyer who has been practicing there for quite a while and is aware of all the laws. Once you have hired a lawyer, you need to strengthen yourself mentally so you can fight the case with all your heart. Fighting criminal charges is quite stressful, and it will keep you up at night for weeks. However, with the help of the below-mentioned tips, you will be able to cope with your stress better. Let’s take a look:

Don’t Hesitate to Seek Support

Dealing with criminal charges can complicate your life in a lot of ways, and sometimes the charges are so heinous that you might not even want to talk about it with your loved ones. One feels ashamed even if they are innocent, and they just do not want their friend and family to see them in a different light. However, in such times you will need the support of your loved ones, and if you do not ask for it, you will be buried under the stress of the legal proceedings. So, it is advised that you reach out to your close friends and family members and share what you have been going through. Those who love you will always support you, and your friends and family can provide you the support that can help you relax a little. If you do not feel like reaching out to people closed to you or do not have any to rely on, then there are other options as well. You can start seeing a psychologist who can help you organize your thoughts and express them better. You can also join a support group where you can find people going through a similar sort of stress and can share with them to feel better.

Hire a Lawyer Who Cares

While hiring a lawyer, do not just focus on experience and skills. You need to go with a lawyer who is not just good at his job but is good with people as well. A lawyer who is genuinely interested in your story and believes you are better than a lawyer judging your case based on facts only. Any lawyer who empathizes with their clients can be a great help for them. So, look for a lawyer who will believe your story and work extra hard to make sure that you do not have to go through any additional pain throughout the process. He will take most of the weight off your shoulders and will provide you the much-needed rest you need. You can try reaching out to the previous clients of that lawyer to see whether he is supportive enough or not.

Focus on Self-Care

In such times you will need to practice self-care more seriously. If you do not take care of yourself, it will not only affect you mentally, but it can hurt your entire case. So, do not forget to take care of yourself and follow healthy practices regularly. You can begin with exercises that will help you stay active and mentally fresh. You do not necessarily have to go to a gym for that. You can do such exercises at home as well, and you would not have to spend more than 20 to 30 minutes on it. Apart from that, you can go for mediation as well, which is a great practice that can help you clear your mind. You can also start taking medication if necessary, after consulting with a doctor or a psychiatrist. Seeing a psychiatrist in such times is a smart thing to do because they can help you take that edge off.

Don’t Succumb to Drugs or Alcohol

If you drink alcohol or do drugs occasionally when you are feeling stressed, then it is strictly advised you avoid that at all costs. It is understandable that you are going through a tough time, and you need to cope with it somehow, but alcohol and drugs are not the answer. They will only make things worse for you as you would not be able to get by without regular doses. You need to keep your head clear to come out of this situation, so avoid getting intoxicated at all costs. Also, if you use drugs and alcohol regularly, then there is a chance that you landed in this situation because of your addiction. Apart from these things, you can be asked to take a drug or alcohol test anytime during the court proceedings, so it is better to stay clean. There are a lot of ways to cope with the stress you will face throughout this situation, but drugs and alcohol are not the answer.

Fake It Till You Make It

When it comes to dealing with the stress of criminal charges, then this may not be our favorite trick, but it is an effective one. If you want to get out of the situation and be happy again, then you will have to pretend that you are ok. The power of positivity is such that if you stay positive throughout the case, you will come out fine. Even if you are worried deep down, you should not let that go to your head and pretend as if everything will be ok. You have to pretend that you are not worried about the case because you are not guilty, and you will be fine when it ends. This trick can be so effective that it can change your personality and how the judges or the jury perceive you. When you start receiving positive feedback from the judges and jury, you will automatically start to feel better. So even when you do not feel like doing anything, you should get up and spend your day with a big smile on your face.

Never Hire a Difficult Attorney

The entire situation of dealing with criminal charges will be stressful enough, and you do not want to add to that by hiring a lawyer that is difficult to deal with. First of all, you need to make sure that the lawyer you are hiring is not a general practitioner but specializes in criminal law. Hiring a lawyer who is the jack of all trades might help you save money on your legal fee, but it will not do you any favors when it comes to your case’s situation. The moment things get a little complex, the lawyer will not know what to do, and it will become your headache. So, make sure you hire a lawyer who has been practicing criminal law for quite some time now and has enough experience with such cases.

Author's Bio: 

Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist, Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker