Getting charged with a crime is scary. It means spending days filling out paperwork, sitting in court, time spent in jail, and worrying about the direction your life is headed. Whether you’re guilty of the crime or not, getting charged can make you wish you could go back and do things differently.
Although you can’t go back in time and change your life before you got in trouble, you can make changes so that finding yourself in the courtroom is something you never have to worry about ever again.
Hire A Good Attorney:
The very first thing you should do when you’re charged with a crime is hire a great criminal defence attorney. A good attorney will work hard to make sure you aren’t wrongly convicted, and if you are convicted of a crime, they can help you get a shorter sentence or smaller fines. Not to mention, they can provide you with support and peace of mind throughout the process.
If you’re on the hunt for an attorney, try to find one who specializes in cases like yours. It’s much better to work with an attorney who focuses on DUI cases, drug crimes, or weapons charges than it is to find one who does it all. Not only will they have more time for your case, but they are also likely to have more expertise that can mean the difference between starting a new life and jail time.
Stay Away From Old Haunts:
You can get your life back on track at any time. Whether you’re waiting for the ruling or you’ve served your sentence and you’re ready to re-integrate back into normal life, you should start by staying away from old haunts.
Old places can trigger feelings and emotions that serve as connections to your old life. Whether it’s a bar, an old apartment, or a certain side of town, you should try and stay away.
This also includes staying away from people from your past who are bad news. It’s easy to fall back into old habits when you surround yourself with friends who haven’t given up the lifestyle you’re trying to avoid.
Craft Your Environment To Support Success:
Avoiding old haunts is a great first step, but if you want to experience long-term success, you have to find ways to create a positive environment.
That may mean moving into a different apartment, moving back home, or moving out of the state. If drinking is a problem, make sure you don’t keep any in the house and live with someone who doesn’t drink either. Live in a safe neighbourhood so you don’t need weapons while finding a hobby can keep you from staying out late at night. Whatever it is you struggle with, look for ways to create an environment that makes it very difficult to keep up with your old ways.
Start Healthy Habits:
Your environment is important, but so are the habits you keep. It may take a little bit of work, but creating new healthy habits makes it easier to ditch the old ones.
A few healthy habits you may want to incorporate into your more positive lifestyle include:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
- Exercise regularly
- Practice a hobby daily
- Get up and go to bed at the same times
- See a therapist
The trick is to stick with the habits you create. For example, if you go to bed at the same time every night, you won’t be tempted to go out instead, while having dinner with family members multiple times a week can keep you from catching up with friends from your past.
Be Accountable To Someone Who Wants To See You Succeed:
It’s easy to slip up and make mistakes if you’re the only person keeping track of your progress. However, if someone else is heavily invested in your progress, you’ll be less likely to slip up for fear of letting them down.
Instead of keeping your plans for a healthier, happier, safer lifestyle to yourself, entrust your hopes and dreams with at least one person who is willing to check in on you regularly. When you know that person is going to ask how your weekend went or how your therapy appointment was, you’ll be much less likely to get into trouble or skip that appointment.
Find Ways To Celebrate Small Wins:
Recovering after a criminal charge, whether you were convicted or not, can be extremely hard. It’s easy to get discouraged when things don’t seem to go your way. It’s important to remember you’re playing the long game, and that’s easier to do if you find ways to celebrate small wins in the meantime.
Having a hard time finding a job, but finally got called in for an interview? Did you ignore a call from an old friend from your past? Did you finally get financing so you can get a used car? These are the kinds of small things that should be celebrated!
How you celebrate is up to you. Buy a fancy cupcake, go out to a movie, or invite someone over to share the news. When you celebrate small wins, you’re more likely to hang in there so you can celebrate big wins in the future.
The more time you spend at home alone, the more likely you are to turn to old habits. Find things to do in your community and you’ll find you’re too busy to get into too much trouble!
Join an intramural sports team, volunteer at a local shelter, or help a neighbour mow their lawn. Joining a group like Alcoholics Anonymous is a great idea too. The more responsibilities you have in your community, the less time you’ll have to get involved in things you shouldn’t.
Getting your life back on track after a criminal charge isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible! With a little planning, patience, and the tips on this list, you can find ways to avoid your past until you create a future that’s full and bright.