A Friend or Family Member Has Been Arrested: How You Can Help

You get a phone call from a close friend or family member.  He tells you he’s been arrested. What do you do?

First of all, remain calm.  He’s upset and worried because he’s stuck and feels helpless so staying calm is going to help him stay calm.  There’s a lot you can do to help but it’s best to remain calm and keep a clear head.

Get information.  Find out what jail he’s being detained at and his booking number.

Be discreet.  Remember that when your friend calls you from jail, the call is most likely being monitored.

Gather your financial information.  Do you have something of value like real estate or a vehicle or jewelry that you can offer as collateral to pay for bail?

* This is an important decision that could have serious consequences.  If you own a house and you put that up for collateral and your friend decides he’s not going to stick around for court and jumps bail, your house will be sold to pay the bail.  Consider all of the facts before risking everything.

Call a licensed bail bondsman.  If you’re in the New Port Richey area, Mercy Bail Bonds can help.  Give your bail bondsman all of the information you have and pay the non-refundable fee so they can begin the process of getting your loved one out of jail.

Be smart.  If you’re with your friend when he’s arrested, make smart choices and don’t behave in any way that would make things worse for your friend.  It’s better to focus your efforts on getting him out of jail than resisting the police.

Lawyer up.  If your friend doesn’t have a lawyer, call one for him.  If you don’t know one, call your local bar association and ask for a referral.  Find one that has several years of experience as a criminal defense attorney. If your friend doesn’t have enough money to play an attorney, he may be able to have a public defender appointed to his case at no cost.  He will be asked to provide financial information to prove there’s a need and will probably not receive a public defender until his arraignment.

At that arraignment, the judge will decide a bail amount, usually determined by the nature of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and their risk of flight.

Keep on top of court dates.  Know when they are and remind your friend so he doesn’t miss them.  If you were the one who bailed him out of jail, it’s your responsibility to make sure he shows up for all of his court dates.

Visit.  Being in jail is stressful for anyone.  If your loved one is going to remain in jail for more than a day, make arrangements to visit him.  Call ahead to make an appointment and be sure to follow all of the rules of the facility regarding their dress code, having a photo ID, and of course, not bringing in any contraband.  If your loved one is remaining in jail, be sure to visit often and send letters. Having visitors from the “outside” can really help him cope with being “inside”.

Pick him up.    When your loved one is released, pick him up.  He’ll appreciate seeing a caring face.

Mercy Bail Bonds can help if you get that dreaded call from your loved one in New Port Richey, Central Florida, or anywhere nationwide.  We’re available 24/7 to answer your call and to begin the bail bond process as soon as possible and get him out of jail, sometimes in just a few hours.  Call Mercy today at (727) 856-7775 and we’ll get your loved one back home before you know it.