What to Do When Your Loved One Gets Arrested

(Reuters/Stephen Lam)Photo of a crime scene.

* Partner Post

'Hello, I've been arrested.' This is the dreaded phone call that no one wants to receive. Whether it's your child, spouse or friend who has been arrested, it can be quite difficult to cope with all the emotions that flood your mind. According to Statista.com, there were more than 10 million arrests in the U.S in 2017. From DUI charges to felonies, there are many different offences that could lead to arrest. So, if your loved one has been apprehended by law enforcement, here are 5 important steps to take:

Remain calm

You will need to have a clear mind to handle the situation and make the right decisions. Hence, when you first learn of your loved one's arrest, try and stay as calm as possible. Avoid getting angry or emotional. Your loved one might be crying over the phone or feeling stressed and overwhelmed. For this reason, you should try to maintain a sober attitude so that you can comfort and reassure them.

Get the right information

The next thing is that you should listen keenly to the details of the case. If possible, get a pen and paper to write down what your loved one will communicate over the phone. In most areas, arrested individuals are allowed to have only one phone call, hence you should listen keenly and ask important questions which will help you to formulate your next course of action.

Be sure to find out the name of the jail, its location, their arraignment date or time and what the charges are. Avoid divulging any incriminating details as this information might be used against the defendant during their court hearing. Be clear and concise in your communication.

Contact a lawyer

Once you know the charges against your loved one, the next step is to find a good lawyer. Depending on the nature of the case, be sure to contact a qualified attorney who is experienced in handling those specific types of cases. You and your lawyer can go and visit your loved one where they will guide you on the procedure that you will follow. Your lawyer will also make all communications on behalf of your loved one. Don't record any statements without consulting your lawyer first.

Attend the arraignment

An arraignment refers to the formal reading of criminal charges in the presence of the defendant. In response, the defendant is meant to enter a plea. During the arraignment, the judge will also determine the amount of bail bond payable. This amount will depend on the type of offence, the defendant's character and other factors.

Hire a bail bondsman

Once the amount for bail has been set, instead of paying the full amount, you can opt to hire a bail bondsman. This is a person or corporation who will act as a surety by pledging money as bail on behalf on the defendant. A bail bond agent will only require you to pay a small fraction of the total bail (approximately 10%) and you will be able to get the defendant released. However, the defendant will still