Every person makes mistakes. For those who are lucky, these mistakes prove to be little more than a valuable learning experience. However, those who are not so lucky could be facing serious consequences if their mistake results in criminal charges.

If your loved one has recently made this kind of mistake and has been charged with a felony, it is understandable to feel upset and helpless. However, there are steps you can take to help your loved one get through this difficult time a little more easily.

Hold off on judgment

Some people are quick to judge someone accused of a serious crime. However, remember that everyone in the U.S. is presumed innocent until proven guilty, even those who may already have a criminal record.

Holding off on judgment can be difficult, but it is crucial. It gives the person facing charges a chance to explain his or her side of a story, and it allows for better understanding of the circumstances that led up to an incident.

Know what they are up against

Your loved one can be facing serious criminal penalties if convicted of a felony offense. Imprisonment will generally be the most troubling element of a sentence in Louisiana, but there are other consequences.

Depending on the type of offense, a person convicted of a crime may also:

  • Lose his or her license
  • Lose parenting time with a child
  • Be unable to vote
  • Lose a job
  • Experience financial hardship
  • Suffer a blow to his or her reputation

These and other penalties can drastically change a person’s life.

Be a source of support

Supporting your loved one during this time can take many different forms, all of which can be valuable. You might:

  • Provide financial support if your child is the one facing charges
  • Pledge to preserve the relationship between them and a child you share
  • Connect the person with a knowledgeable attorney
  • Take care of his or her house or pets or other responsibilities while the person is imprisoned
  • Offer rides to court or legal appointments
  • Be available to talk when the person feels confused, scared, depressed or angry

Whatever way you can show your support for a loved one facing felony charges in Louisiana can help him or her get through this difficult time a little easier.