Your phone just rang in the middle of the night. Someone you care about is calling from jail, telling you that they have just been arrested. You ask them where they are and jump in your car to go help them. During your drive, you realize you are unsure of what to do when you arrive. Here are four ways you can help your newly arrested friend.
1. Be Polite to the Police
You are likely to be confused and upset. Do your best to stay calm. Losing your temper, being rude or swearing at the police is not helpful. Stay cool and collected, and encourage your friend to do the same.
2. Ask the Police to Explain Why Your Friend Was Arrested
First ask if your friend was, in fact, arrested. They may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they may have simply been taken in for questioning. If your friend has not been arrested, ask if they are free to go.
If your friend was arrested, politely ask the police for the charges. If you are given the name of a charge that you do not understand look it up in the penal code.
3. Call a Bondsman
Once the police tell you the charges and where your friend is being booked, you can make preparations to get them released from jail. For example, in Pennsylvania Wayne County bail bonds are available seven days a week to help ensure your friend’s release.
4. Help Your Friend Find a Lawyer
Your friend will require a good attorney. If affording an attorney will be a problem, remind your friend that a public defender can help. Otherwise, call the bar association for a recommendation for a criminal attorney with at least five years of experience who is willing to meet with your friend in jail.
Following these four steps will help you help your friend in their time of need.