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How to protect your mental health if accused of a crime

Posted on May 11, 2022

One minute, life was looking rosy. Then, out of the blue, you found yourself arrested. It might feel like your whole world has been turned upside down in a split second.

Everything you worked so hard for could be left in tatters if you are convicted. How will your partner cope if you go to jail? How will your kids cope without you? How will you cope?

If you are not careful, your mind can spiral out of control

The first thing to realize is that however confident the police seem, there are always defense options available. You may be able to overturn the charge completely. Or persuade a judge to limit any sentence to avoid disrupting your life entirely.

Secondly, the more you can control your thoughts, the better your chances of a successful defense. Try to stay positive so you can think clearly, however hard that might be.

Here are some ways to make that easier:

  • Avoid drinking or using any mind-altering substances. While these things might help you forget your worries momentarily, they are not what you need. Not only can they cloud your judgment, but they can make depression more likely.
  • Get some sleep: Staying up and worrying all night will not change your situation. It will just leave you feeling exhausted.
  • Find someone to talk to. You are under a lot of stress and sharing with someone will be crucial to keep it under control. You may rely on friends or family, or you may want to seek help from someone who has been through the same or has appropriate training.

Getting urgent legal help is crucial. Having someone with the necessary knowledge to provide a perspective on your case can help you eliminate irrelevant concerns and focus on forming a successful defense.