If a friend or family member has been placed in handcuffs and loaded into the back of a police cruiser, your mind is probably racing thinking about what you can do to help them. This can become a hectic time, and if you take the wrong steps, it can really hurt their case, so it’s important to know what to do next. In today’s blog, we explain what you can do to help if a loved one has been arrested in Illinois.
When A Friend Or Family Member Is Arrested
If you witness a loved one getting arrested or you get a call from the police department saying they have been taken into custody, you need to take a moment and collect your thoughts. Once settled, here are some things you can do to help your loved one.
- Call An Attorney – Arguably the best thing you can do for your loved one is to call an attorney and let them know about the situation. You probably won’t have all the details, but if you can, let them know what they are being charged with and where they are being held. The lawyer may be able to help secure their release and move forward with a case. Even if you don’t want to pay for a lawyer yourself, the lawyer may be able to secure someone’s release and then work out the financial side with the client. You’re not going to be on the hook for a massive bill because you called a lawyer for someone else, so while you may want to broach the subject of payment when you’re talking with the lawyer if you don’t intend to pay, know that you’re not putting yourself in a financial hole just because you reached out to a lawyer on someone else’s behalf.
- Write Down What You Know – Depending on what you know about the situation, this may prove helpful before calling the lawyer, but either way, you’re going to want to write down what you know about the incident. If you were a party to the arrest, write down every detail about the situation. Where you were, who was there, what time it was and how the incident played out. Your testimony may turn out to be very important, and you’d be amazed at how quickly little details can fade from your memory. Writing everything down ensures you have a hard copy to reference if need be. If you weren’t a witness, writing down any information you received from your loved one can be helpful. When they were arrested, what they are being charged with, and where they are being held, for example.
- Bail Options – Your loved one may be arrested, charged and released, while others may be held and given a bail order. If you are interested in posting bail for someone, make sure you understand your options. A bail bond company can help secure their release for 10 percent of the bail amount (you’ll pay 10 percent and this won’t be returned to you), or you can post bail yourself, and this will be returned assuming your loved one shows up to all their court appearances, even if they are found guilty. However, know that when you post bail for someone else, it technically becomes their property, so if you think that individual won’t pay you back the money you provided them, consider a different bail option.
- Cool Off – Finally, depending on the situation, you may be very angry or frustrated with your loved one. If your son or daughter was arrested or your husband was picked up for drunk driving, odds are you’re going to be mad. There will be a time for punishment, but don’t react out of anger. Still act in their best interests. Contact a lawyer and talk about getting them out of jail, don’t just let them sit behind bars to “teach them a lesson.” Let’s focus on making the best out of the criminal situation before we move on to personal punishments or privilege losses. Don’t make their criminal situation worse because you were angry and worked against their best interests. We know you’re angry, but find a way to cool off before reacting, otherwise you can make things worse.
If you need help after a loved one has been arrested, give Brett and the team at Appelman Law a call today.