You receive a call from jail in the middle of the night telling you your spouse, partner, child, or sibling has been arrested. What do you do next?
For many people, this is one of the most frightening moments of their life. Feeling concerned for your loved one is normal, but if you are not sure how to help them those feelings may quickly turn to panic, which is the last thing you need. If your loved one has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, the most important thing you can do is remain calm, act rationally, and follow a plan.
Below, we’ve explained a few essential steps you should take if someone you love is charged with a criminal offense:
Immediately after learning your loved one has been charged with a crime and arrested, you should find out everything you can. Find out where your loved one is being held and the name of the police agency. Typically, you will be able to gather this information when your loved one calls you. Do not discuss the details of the case over the phone, only the basics about the arrest and where they are being held. Remember, the conversation could be recorded and used against your loved one later on.
Keep detailed records of anything and everything pertaining to your loved one’s case. Record the call times between yourself and your loved one and keep track of when you spoke to the police department or county jail representative. If you asked officers not to question your loved one make sure you record when that happened and which officer you spoke to.
Speak to Your Loved One
Once you have discovered where your friend or relative is being held, contact the police department that made the arrest. You can ask them about your loved one’s charges and whether or not you are permitted to visit. If you are able to visit your loved one, tell them not to speak to any officers about the arrest or supposed crime until their lawyer is present.
Contact Your Attorney
For minor crimes, individuals may be released from jail the next day, but if more serious criminal charges are involved it is definitely important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. In many circumstances, you may contact an attorney for your loved one before you are able to visit them in jail, but it depends on the situation. In any case, having an experienced criminal defense attorney present early on can only prove to increase your loved one’s chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Criminal defense attorneys, like Attorney Cahill, have the legal knowledge necessary to help you and your family assess the seriousness of the situation and determine a plan of action. Don’t trust you’re loved one’s future to chance, make sure you have Attorney Cahill in your corner.
The emotional turmoil your loved one is likely going through can be a lot to bear. Providing a strong support system for your loved one is one of the very best things you can do. Be emotionally available and physically accessible. Your loved one will likely have future court dates, appointments with lawyers, and other important dates and meetings that he or she might need help with.
For a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Kevin Cahill.