Witnessing a friend of yours get arrested while you’re busy minding your own business can be shocking. The same can be said if you were to get a call from your friend in the middle of the night saying that they’re in jail because of something they were accused of doing. All these can be very overwhelming.
But your friend called you for a reason, not their family or other people—you. Therefore, you must find out what you can do for them in that situation or reach out to someone else who can. Understandably, dealing with an arrest can be highly emotional and taxing, but you must stay strong for your friend.
It’s easy to get swayed by the facts stated against your friend in that situation, and you might just be convinced enough to believe them. However, you must at least give your friend the benefit of the doubt and hear their side of the story before you leave them hanging, especially if they depend on you to get them out.
Of course, it’s a different matter altogether if the allegations are of grave circumstances that involve harming others. Still, if it appears as a petty crime or false accusation, then there may not be any harm done. Just so you won’t be left clueless if this ever happens to you, here are three steps you can follow:
Step 1: Get the Details of the Arrest
In an arrest situation, it’s normal for emotions to get heightened because of shock and fear. But you must approach the matter with a calm and collected demeanor rather than an aggressive one. This is because fighting with a police officer can also be considered a federal crime, and you won’t be able to help your friend if you’re in there together.
So do your best to keep your calm and ask for the details of the arrest. Make sure to get the exact name of the charges and which jail your friend will be taken to. This way, you can relay the correct details to your friend’s legal representative. Remember, aggression and picking fights won’t get you anywhere.
If this happens over a phone call, you need to remind your friend to keep the call concise and as detailed as possible because it’s possible that their call is being recorded. Try to keep their ramblings to a minimum and ensure that they won’t be saying anything that can be held or used against them in the court of law.
Step 2: Contact Legal Representation
Once you’ve gathered all the details of the arrest from your friend, you should start contacting lawyers who can represent them. This could be someone you know personally or trust to handle the matter in the best way possible. Having the best legal defense lawyer you can get is key to clearing your friend’s name from the offense.
You may have been able to deal with your friend’s case for this long, but you can only do so much. At some point, you must leave the matter in the hands of a professional who knows their way around the law and what they must do. When you find this person, all that’s left for you to do is provide moral support.
If, in case, your friend can’t afford to get their own lawyer, find out what you can do to appoint them with a public defender. This may take longer, but it will get your friend the right legal representation they need all the same. At the end of the day, what matters is that your friend isn’t left to fend for themselves.
Step 3: Look into the Bail Process
During your friend’s arraignment, they will have their charges read to them in court. This is where they can enter a plea of guilty or not guilty with their lawyer or public defender by their side. If your friend pleads not guilty, the court will then decide the details of the bail process and how much it will be.
If you’re not sure about how this will work, you can always find an expert in bail bonds to help you out through the complicated process of getting someone out of jail. At least this way, you can trust the experienced professional to provide you with the right answers to your many questions.
Typically, the release of an arrested individual will happen an hour or so after posting bail. But in some cases, this could take longer depending on the gravity of the situation or where your friend is booked. Either way, you can hope that it won’t be long until you can have your friend safely by your side.
Seeing your friend get arrested, booked, and bailed can be exhausting, even if you weren’t the one on record. Just being a witness to all that chaos can leave you drained, especially because you were the one to relay messages back and forth. On the upside, at least you’ll know what to do the next time it happens. But if you’re lucky, it won’t happen again.