05 Sep What To Do If Someone You Know Has Been Arrested
The arrest of a loved one can be a traumatic experience, and how fast your friend or family member is released depends on your ability to act calmly and rationally during this extremely stressful time. For years, Armstrong has been helping people in situations exactly like yours, and our experienced bail bondsmen have put together a list of things you must remember following a friend or family member’s arrest.
First, Try And Stay Calm
Take a deep breath! You can’t help your friend or loved one if you’re having a panic attack, and the people who are here to help you do what needs to be done–bail bondsmen, police officers, attorneys–will be less receptive if you are crying, yelling, and shaking with frustration. Also, if you choose to hire a bail bondsmen, you’ll be required to sign legal documents making you liable for the bail amount should the defendant fail to meet his her obligations; staying calm will help you to fully understand these documents.
If You Are Present For The Arrest, Get As Much Information As Possible
If you are present for the arrest of a friend or family member, your first instinct may be to get angry, yell, or try and “rescue” the person in handcuffs. DON’T! Interfering with an arrest is a crime, and this behavior is likely to land you in the back of a squad car as well. Instead, politely ask the officer for his name, jurisdiction, the name of the charge for which your friend or family member is being arrested, and to which precinct they are being taken. Also, be sure to note the time, the date, the license plate number of the vehicle, and everything the arresting officer says. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN! It’s not illegal for you to take notes, but be sure you do anything the officer asks you to do!
If The Arrested Person Calls, Don’t Discuss The Case on the Phone
If you are NOT present at the time of the arrest, chances are the defendant will call you from the jail to let you know if they need a bail bondsman or a lawyer. Though you’ll probably want to find out why the person ended up in handcuffs, it’s important that you avoid discussing the case over the phone; jail phone conversations are often recorded, and “everything you/they can and will be used against you in a court of law” definitely applies here. Ask the name of the jail, their bail amount, what they are being charged with, and if there is anyone they need you to call–that’s all.
If You Can’t Post Bail Yourself, Call A Bail Bondsmen
Once you know where your loved one is being held, it’s wise to gather the bail amount in cash and head straight to the jail–as long as the defendant shows up for their court appearance (usually in a month or two, depending on the size of the municipality), you’ll get the bail amount returned to you. If you can’t afford the bail amount, you can pay a bail bondsman 10% of the total bail amount (example: If the bail is set at $1000, you pay the bondsman $100) to post bail on your behalf; this money is the bail bondsman’s fee, and will not be returned to you when the defendant appears in court.
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Important Note: The advice presented in this article does not come from a lawyer and should not be considered legal advice. For legal advice, Armstrong Bail Bonds recommends contacting a licensed attorney.