A First Time for Everything: Dealing with the Law


Most people will encounter the law at least once in their life, and it will almost always be stressful. That’s because people aren’t inborn with a protocol that will tell them how they should react when they’re suddenly accused of something, and nobody believes it will happen to them until it does.

The basics of the law should become part of the high school curriculum because the transition from childhood to adulthood is drastic. One day, teenagers are treated like kids who don’t know any better. But as soon as they turn 18, anything they say or do can suddenly be used against them in court.

That’s something that people should be educated on because it’s not enough to say that they must be law-abiding citizens and trust that they won’t do any wrong. Even if there is an abundance of resource materials that people can refer to online, not everyone has the privilege to see those before they find themselves face-to-face with the law.

In a situation like this, having some vague knowledge about how you can react and move forward is better than being clueless at all. You won’t always know what the future holds, so it can be smart to prepare for the unforeseeable. To help you, here’s a quick overview of what you can do when you are:

Filing a Complaint

Life is not all rainbows and butterflies, especially when you feel like a certain encounter has victimized you. This can happen when a stranger who’s aggressively rowdy in public caused you to fall and break your arm because they were neglectful of their actions.

Fortunately, the law gives you the right to file a complaint in court against the person who harmed you. This is because the accident can count this accident as a personal injury case due to neglect. If the law favors you, then you can seek compensation for your medical expenses brought about by the encounter.

The general format will start with your complaint as the plaintiff, in which the person that harmed you will be the defendant. Once you’ve paid the filing fee, the court will issue a summons, which you need to deliver to the defendant through your chosen process server agency. This is how they get “served.”

After doing your part, you will only need to wait for the defendant to respond with their answer. Most summons will come with a deadline, but if that time lapses without the defendant issuing their response, the court will deem you the winner by default.

Receiving a Summons

Sometimes life is just one big blur; moments often bleed into the next with no significant happenings from your perspective. However, that won’t always be the case. During that hazy time, you might not have noticed that your simple, mindless action caused harm to a person without your knowledge.

If you were oblivious to that encounter, you would surely be taken aback when you receive a summons and complaint stating that you were to appear in court because you put somebody in harm’s way. Getting served can be overwhelming, but what you should never do is ignore the situation.

Before you lose your mind over the matter at hand, you should read through the summons to fully grasp what you’re being served for. You must also make sure that you issue your response within the deadline so that you can have the opportunity to plead your innocence or settle the matter appropriately.

Being Arrested

jail cell

Life often has a way of taking you by surprise, but not in a good way. One minute, you can be lost in your own little world and minding your business, but the next, you’re being wrongfully arrested for a crime you didn’t commit. This is easily the most stressful encounter you can have with the law.

In a situation like that, your emotions will get heightened and panic will consume you, leading you to resist the clutches of the police. However, resisting or fleeing the arrest can create more trouble for you later on. It might not be favorable, but the best thing you can do in this case would be to come with them calmly and willingly.

As soon as you are allowed, you need to call a lawyer you can trust to get you out of the sticky situation. Remember that you have the right to remain silent until you’re with your lawyer because anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.

No matter how many times it happens to you, facing the law will be stressful. That’s not something you can get used to unless, of course, you begin a career in that field. These tips may not be complete and sufficient, but it’s enough to get you through the first hurdle. The rest will lay on your shoulders.

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