My Friend Committed an Assault: It can be a very difficult situation, but one that you should know what to do. What do you do when you suspect that a friend of yours has committed assault? It can be a very complicated and overly emotional situation to respond to, and worse, you are unsure if your actions will negatively or positively affect your friend.
My Friend Committed an Assault: What Do I Do?
You may be experiencing a range of emotions, from anger to confusion, from betrayal to hopelessness. And you are justified to feel them. If a close friend has been accused of assault, then it’s only natural that you would feel a wealth of various emotions.
But it all comes back to the key question: What do you do when you suspect that a friend of yours has committed assault? We have considerations that can prove useful for this situation for both your friend and you.
How To Help Your Friend
You may feel inclined to support your friend and help them with what they’re going through. That is entirely normal and the right thing to do if you feel they are innocent or require help. There are a few ways in which you can help your friends through this experience:
- Contact a criminal lawyer that specializes in domestic violence or assault. Never hire a lawyer that is not experienced in these types of cases. You need someone that understands the fabrics of assault and how to handle them. We recommend Dunlap Law in Calgary, Alberta.
- Go to counselling or seek therapy. Assault can stem from issues from past trauma or situations that have not been handled yet. A psychologist or therapist can prove beneficial to your friend, guiding them through their problems. It can also lead to reformation and rehabilitation, stopping them from making worse decisions in the future.
- Remain “out of sight” until the matter is resolved. Not often, charged individuals might act out, threatening more violence or retaliation, resulting in them suffering more charges. A true friend would discourage their friends from retaliating, encouraging them to stay “out of sight” until everything is solved.
- Be available to support them in a non-judgmental manner. The last thing you want is for your friend to turn against you in their hour of need. Being supportive and available can prove beneficial to them in the long term.
Doing The Right Thing
However, if your friend is guilty of assault and has admitted that much to you, you must help them make the right decisions from now on.
Hiding secrets or withholding information can result in you getting charged with “aiding and abetting”, which can mean a criminal charge and record against your name.
As such, it’s best if you encourage your friend to admit this guilt to their lawyer, so together they can build a case together. You can also tell the lawyer what you heard and let them resolve the matter. The last thing you want is to be caught between the prosecution and the criminal defence lawyer.
Remember that being a good friend does not mean approving all your friend’s actions or choices. You can openly display your opinions about them. You should hold the person you care about accountable for their actions. Supporting or going along with it only enhances their belief that it was the right decision – meaning that they will never learn from their mistakes and continue to do them.
What About Me?
Amidst all the mayhem with your friend, you might be forgetting about yourself. It is imperative that during this turbulent time that you look out for yourself. Being in good health, both mentally and physically, can help you through this period and move forward with life.
If your friend is guilty, then you don’t have to support them through their case. It is your choice, and it is completely understandable. While they are your friend, you have to look after yourself and your well-being before anything else.
If you feel that support is necessary, make sure you seek some for yourself. Visiting a therapist or speaking to your lawyer can help guide you on what to do next. Speak to your friends and family about the situation, so they can be there to help you if you need it.
Regardless if you believe your friend is innocent or not, it does put you in both an uncomfortable and powerful position. What you decide to do next can profoundly affect you and your friend’s futures for the rest of your lives. Think carefully about it, and always, always, do the right thing.