When someone we care about is arrested and taken into custody by the police, it’s an incredibly distressing time. Unfortunately, when it happens it will come out of the blue. Often, people feel helpless as they panic about what to do, who to speak to, and how they can help their loved one to come home as soon as possible. However, there are steps you can take to support them and ensure they get the best possible legal advice. If your friend or loved one has been arrested, here are some important factors to keep in mind to help them as much as possible.
Be respectful towards the police
If you are present during the arrest, be as respectful and polite as you can be to the police. They are only performing their job and their actions are not personal. The more cooperative and peaceful you can be, the more likely they will be to provide you with the information you need to help your friend or loved one.
Get as much information as you can
Find out if your loved one is definitely being arrested or if they are free to go. If they have been arrested, ask the police why they have been arrested, under what jurisdiction the arrest is taking place, the names of the arresting officer(s), where they will be taken to, and what of money the bond amount is. Make a note of the location, time, and date of the arrest as this information may be important at a later date.
Reassure your loved one
If you are able to speak to your loved one before they are taken away, tell them not to answer any questions other than standard details like their name, date of birth, and address. Reassure them that you will be trying to sort out their bond, and that you will contact an attorney for them. Make sure you are easily contactable by keeping your phone on you, as they should be able to make a phone call when they arrive at the jail.
Contact a criminal defense attorney
Contact a criminal defense attorney, as they will be the best person to advise and defend your loved one, now, and in any future legal proceedings. If your loved one is being interviewed and their attorney arrives at the station to speak with them, the police have to inform their client, which will interrupt their questioning.
Do not discuss what has happened over the phone
Should your loved one call you from the jail, do not discuss details about what has happened over the phone. Phone calls are recorded as a matter of routine and the prosecution would be able to access whatever is discussed during these calls.
In most cases, when someone is arrested they will have the option to pay a bond, which enables them to leave custody until their court date. If you cannot afford to pay the bond amount, you may want to find a bail bondsman near me. A bail bondsman can help by sourcing collateral and money from friends and family, as well as from property owned by your loved one.
Your loved one is likely to be frightened and panicked so it’s important that you are there for them as a source of stability and support. They should know that you are working as hard as you can to get them out of jail and to find them an attorney. Make sure they know that they should not discuss what has happened with anyone until they have spoken with an attorney.