Dealing with Anxiety When Facing Pending Charges

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Worried. Anxious. Stressed. Upset. Insomnia. These are some of the emotions many people feel when charges are pending against them. From the moment the police put you in handcuffs, the worry begins to ensue. What is my job going to think? Will I still have a job? Will I even be able to drive to work if I still have a job? What will my friends and family think about me? By the time you have sat in a holding cell for a few hours waiting to bond out, you probably thought of one hundred more questions and concerns.

The legal system is not designed for self-service. Even after you hire an attorney, you may still find yourself feeling anxious about future court dates. Here are some tips to help with anxiety over pending charges:

1.  Get Your Advice From a Professional:

Taking advice from the wrong person can be detrimental and may only exacerbate your anxiety. There are many friends, family members, or coworkers who may have gone through a similar situation or have known someone that has been arrested. These people may try and give advice and have good intentions. The issue is that unless they are a Georgia DUI Attorney, they are not able to give you the best advice. Every case is different and what one person may have gone through in their case may be entirely different than what you are going to experience.

Through the life of your case, you are going to encounter people along the way that volunteer "advice." This advice may include where to attend DUI School or even an opinion as to whether you have a good or bad case.  It is important to remember that everyone that has an impact on your case from the time you bond yourself out of jail, to the time you close your case, will be an attorney. Hopefully, you will hire a Georgia DUI Lawyer to guide you through the process. Remember, the prosecutor will be an attorney and the Judge will be an attorney. It should follow that you should only take advice from a knowledgeable DUI Attorney in Georgia.  Be careful of what you read on the internet. Things you read online can be taken out of context and may cause you greater anxiety than needed. Online advice may provide general information, but it is likely not specific to your individual situation.  Accordingly, only an attorney who understands the law, the facts of your case, and how they apply to your particular situation should advise you about your case.   

2.  Please Read Through Our Frequently Asked Questions about Georgia DUI Law:

We have created a list of over 150 questions and answers that callers have frequently asked. We have included everything from how your arrest will affect your license, to how the court process works.   We have covered every aspect of how a DUI case is resolved in Georgia.  Not every question and answer will apply to your case, but almost every question you have will likely have been answered.  If you ask us a question that is not in our FAQs, we will add it in a few short days.  

3. Make a List of Your Questions:

Make a list of questions for your attorney once he or she is selected.  Once those questions are answered, your anxiety level will drop precipitously.  Many of our clients find that they have assumed far worse consequences than exist.  An example, is that many people are relieved to learn that most DUI cases in Georgia are misdemeanors.  Many people have believed that the police charged them with a felony.  Imagine their relief to discover it was a misdemeanor.  

Our job is to try to make you as comfortable and confident as possible.  Answering your questions is the first step in relieving your stress. 

4.  Trust Your Attorney:

Many things in the legal system do not make intuitive sense. For instance, if your case involved a blood test for alcohol or drugs, it may take up to four months for the results to come back from the GBI. It makes absolutely no sense as to why a blood test would take this long.  In our regular lives, our physicians give us test results in just a few days.  

We are dealing with government, specifically the Georgia Crime Lab. When dealing with government, please always understand that it is the least efficient entity that exists to get anything done.  There is a backlog of blood tests at the crime lab, and we simply have to wait for the result.  

It is entirely out of our control insofar as the time it takes to return test results.  However, sometimes government inefficiency and incompetence can be the basis for your defense.  As a result, an unreasonable delay may be to the advantage of the defense. At a minimum, we can point out how such delay would not be the best practices for blood testing. 

There can be other reasons a case is delayed or reset.  If you have questions about the process of your DUI case, do not be afraid to ask questions. Your Georgia DUI Expert can explain why he or she continued your case, even though the bondsmen insists you must attend. There is nothing wrong with asking questions, but please trust that the answer and information given by your attorney are correct.

Clients often feel anxious that they do not know the proposed outcome of a case before attending court.  We understand that uncertainty can cause anxiety.  However, there may be a reason as to why your lawyer has chosen not to discuss your case with the prosecutor before the court date.  Many times our office tries to catch the prosecutor unprepared.  

For example, if the video evidence in your case is very damaging, your attorney may try and not draw attention to your case before the court date in the hope that the prosecutor may not have looked at the video.  This is especially true in cases where the incident report may have understated your impairment.  

Try to understand that your attorney may make strategic decisions based on his or her experience that may not immediately make sense.  We are always happy to explain our strategy to our clients.  We only ask you to understand that we are trying to act in your best interest. 

5.  Look Ahead – You Cannot Change the Past:

You cannot alter the fact that you were arrested and neither can your attorney. The outcome is the only thing you and your attorney can control. Beating yourself up will frustrate you and does not constructively assist you in the resolution of your case. Look to the future. Ask your yourself and your lawyer about the things you can now to make the best presentation of your case.  Then, ask yourself about the actions you can take to make better life decisions moving forward.  

We will help guide you through the constructive things that you can begin working on before your case goes to court. This will aid us in the negotiation of your case and make being on probation more convenient since you will have already finished everything associated with your case.  

The Bottom Line:

Your DUI case may be pending for several months.  Some cases can last more than a year.  Our advice is to begin the constructive things that will help you both resolve your case and put in you in a place where a repeat offense is far less likely.  Stop the pity party and lets get to work.  Our job is to get the best possible outcome in your case while helping you deal with the anxiety of having pending charges. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!