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Dealing with Bond Issues When Your Loved One is Arrested

Male in Handcuffs

When you find out that your loved one is arrested, you might feel the urge instantly enter problem-solving mode. Parts of the situation are out of your hands, but helping your loved one post bond is one of the most helpful things you can do to help get them temporarily out of jail.

Collect information

Find out the name of the arresting agency and the name of arresting officer(s) to have for future reference. Ask the officer where your loved one is being booked and where you can bond them out. In some cases, your loved one may qualify for recognizance or signature bond. This means they will be referred from jail after they go through booking procedures without having to post the bond.

Determine the charge

Ask the arresting officer or the jail what the specific charge was. You can also ask to see a document called the charging instrument which lists the exact name of the alleged crime and the particular code section.

Think twice before contacting a bondsman

If your loved one is held to a high money bond, then you may want to consider contacting a bail bondsman. These are individuals and businesses who lend money to people to post bond. It might seem like a good idea under pressure, but there are grave risks associated with bail bond agencies. Talk to your lawyer first to come up with other options before resorting to a bondsman.

Post bond

When posting bond, you might be required to pay an additional $50 fee. Most county jails have a bond out window somewhere in the administrative section of the building. You should think of the bond as a gift to your friend or loved one. Don’t plan on getting the money back. Bond may be forfeited for failure to appear at future court dates; it may be assigned your loved one’s attorney, or it may be used to pay your loved one’s fines and court costs. If there is any bond left over after the resolution of the case, it will be refunded to the person who posted the bond minus an administrative fee of usually about 10% of the bond amount.

Arrange a ride

Don’t forget to arrange a ride for your loved one upon their release on bond. Some police stations and county jails are not in the safest neighborhoods, so you don’t want your loved one stranded there without a ride.

Take care of day to day needs

If your loved one can’t post bond, they may need your help with other things until their release. For example, you might need to provide the jail with your loved one’s prescriptions. You also may want to contact their school, job or other obligations and inform them of their absence. Also, keep in mind things like rent and bills that need to be paid while you’re loved one is incarcerated.

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What To Do When Your Loved One is Arrested

Handcuffs When Arrested

It’s never a fun day when a loved gets arrested. You want to help, but if you’ve never been in this situation, you won’t know what to do or who to call.

We’re here to help. In this article, you’ll learn what steps to take to assist and comfort your loved one during the aftermath of the arrest. Depending on where you are at the time of the arrest, there are different ways to react to ensure the best possible outcome.

If you are present at the time of the arrest

Gather information

At the moment, it’s important to keep calm and not panic. You will want to be level-headed and calm when approaching the situation. First, ask the officers if your loved one is free to go or if they’re being detained. If they’ve been arrested, you are allowed to ask why. If the arrest happened under a warrant, ask which jurisdiction issued the order and how much to expect to pay for the bond.

Always be respectful

It is okay to ask the police questions, but be respectful when talking to law enforcement. As long as you are not getting in the way of them doing their jobs, and ask politely, they will provide with the necessary information you need.

Be reassuring and available

If you can speak to your loved one before they’re taken to the station, tell them not to answer any questions beyond the standard booking questions. Tell them that you will do your best to bond them out of as fast as possible. It’s also comforting to let them know that you will contact an attorney for them.

If your loved one calls from jail

Don’t ask for details

Remember that virtually all police stations record phone calls and the prosecution will obtain a copy of the recording, so don’t ask for more information over the phone. Don’t ask about the circumstances leading up to the event surrounding your loved one’s arrest. Instead, ask what facility they are.

Urge them to remain silent

Tell your loved one not to discuss the case with anyone until they meet with a lawyer. Help them get through police interrogations by telling them exactly what to say which is “I don’t want to answer questions. I want to talk to a lawyer.”

Contact a criminal defense lawyer

There is a lot at stake immediately after the arrest, so don’t delay hiring a lawyer as soon as possible. You will need a criminal defense lawyer on your side. Inform your loved one’s attorney of exactly where they are being held and urge them to get down there as soon as possible to speak to their client.

If you hear about the arrest from a third party

Find your loved one

You may be able to find your loved one using your local government’s website, but don’t waste time or money on a commercial inmate locator. Note that it will take some time for your loved one to show up on the computer. You can also call your local non-emergency line for help. When calling, have as much information as possible, including their full name and date of birth. You can also look up the number for your country jail and call there to speak with the booking department directly. If your loved one is being housed a local precinct, it is helpful if you know where the arrest took place when it occurred, and your loved one’s current address.

Remain calm

Your loved one will be scared and desperate to get out of custody, so you need to reflect calm and reassurance. Remind them that they are not alone and you will work to get them out of custody as soon as possible.