What To Do When A Loved One Gets Arrested

Nobody wants to get the phone call that tells them that a loved one has been arrested. Emotions will run high immediately, and it can be hard to know just what to do next or how to cope. Of course, your main priority will be to get your loved one released as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many family members or friends may make matters worse because they don’t understand the complexities of the legal process. Here’s a step by step guide to what to do if someone you love gets arrested for making the process less stressful.

Stay Calm, Be Practical

If your loved one has used a phone call to inform you of what’s happened, you must stay calm. You’re going to need to think clearly, and part of that is reminding your loved one that phone calls may be monitored. Having ‘one phone call’ is something of a Hollywood lie, and the regulations around phone calls from jail can be very confusing. Make sure that your loved one knows that they have the right to remain silent and that divulging too much information could make matters worse for them. Find out:

  • What they have been charged with
  • Where they are being held

Do not ask for more details about the charges. Simply get the information that you need.

Gathering Information

Once you know what your loved one has been charged with, you’ll need to get in contact with the District Attorney’s office. This is to arrange side issues, such as what happens to a vehicle your loved one was driving at the time of the arrest. You will also need to know when the arraignment will happen. This is where you will find out if bail is being granted, and will be the time when your loved one will have to plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest.

Legal Representation and Bail Considerations

You need to ensure that your loved one has legal representation as quickly as possible. If you lack the financial resources to hire a lawyer, contact a criminal defense lawyer. Public defenders are also available. Bail is going to be your next priority. It is intended to ensure that the accused person will show up to court appearances, and the amounts can vary depending on the charge and the accused’s history. If you cannot afford the bail amount that has been set, you may be able to get help from a bail bonding agent, so ensure that you go to a respected and established bail bondsman. The key here is to get your loved one as much professional assistance as you can.

Getting arrested can be frightening and extremely stressful. If you get the phone call letting you know that a loved one has been arrested, you need to be the composed, reassuring presence that they need. Stay calm and start organizing what needs to be done to get your loved one home as quickly as possible.


Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

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Team Parle

The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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