Getting a call from a loved one who is in jail can be alarming and stressful. You may have questions about the charges and how the arrest occurred, and you may feel great concern and worry about them being in custody. If one of your loved ones contacts you from jail, it is important to stay calm so you can assess the situation and take the best measures to help. Take the following steps when you learn that a loved one has been arrested and is in jail:
Gather Important Information
While you may have many questions and want to know exactly what is going on, it is essential to gather several important pieces of information when a loved one calls you from jail. The first thing that you need to know is which jail he or she is being held in. Ask your loved one what the charges are, but resist the urge to ask for an explanation, and try to keep your loved one from talking too much about the situation. In almost all cases, phone calls made from a jail are monitored and recorded, and the last thing you want is for your loved one to accidentally incriminate herself or himself on tape while speaking with you.
Contact a Lawyer
If your loved one is being held in jail, he or she has likely been charged with a criminal offense, and it is in his or her best interest to have a qualified criminal defense lawyer for legal assistance. Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible can help you as well, as the lawyer will understand the process of getting a person out of jail, and can begin gathering details and evidence right away to build a good defense for when the case goes to court.
Get Your Loved One Out of Jail
After being booked into jail, your loved one will have a hearing with a judge, either in a court room or through a teleconference. During this hearing a bail/bond amount will be set. Bail/bond refers to a set amount of money that must be paid in order to be released from jail, and serves as a guarantee that a person who is arrested will show up for his or her court date. Once you know what was bail/bond was set at, you can elect to pay the amount, and it will be refunded to you if your loved one attends all court hearings.
Depending on the charges, bond can be set quite high, and there is a good chance that you may not have the extra money available to pay the whole amount. If bond is set at an amount that you just can't afford, contact a bail bond company. When you work with a bail bond company you will put up a percentage of the bail/bond amount, typically 10%. This fee is not refundable, but a bail bond company is a good option when the bail/bond amount is set beyond your financial means.
For more information about bail bonds, contact a company like All Night & Day Bailbonds.