Whether it is justified or not, watching your friend getting arrested or finding out after the fact can be stressful and confusing.
But if you want to help your friend, it’s best not to let the confusion or stress get to you. Instead, there are 5 important steps you can follow to help your friend get free and start taking the necessary legal steps.
Keep reading to learn those 5 steps and how you can use them to help your friend after an arrest.
1. Stay Calm
The worst thing you can do when your friend is getting arrested is panic.
If you feel that your friend is being arrested unjustly, you might be tempted to argue with police. Even if you know the arrest is warranted, the adrenaline of the moment might have you raising your voice, getting aggressive, or otherwise acting out.
But the only thing this type of reaction is going to do is cause more trouble for yourself and your friend.
If the officer hasn’t actually decided to arrest your friend, causing a confrontation could turn a simple warning into something more serious. If he or she has started the arrest process, you could end up getting yourself in trouble with an obstruction of justice charge.
Instead, stay as calm as possible throughout the situation. If possible, encourage your friend and anyone else involved to do the same.
Answer the officer’s questions, stand to the side or wherever you’re instructed to, and wait until you’re addressed. Don’t flee the scene, as you’ll need to be around for the next step on this list.
2. Get Any Information You Can
What happens after arrest will vary depending on the situation. But no matter what happens, it’s important for you to start getting as much information as possible.
If you can, ask to talk with the officer or one of the officers at the scene. Ask questions about why your friend is being arrested, what happened to cause the arrest, and what happens after arrest in this situation.
Ask these questions even if you’ve been with your friend the entire time. You’ll need to know what the officers think happened so that during the next steps on this list you can compare that information to what you know happened.
If you can’t talk with an officer a the scene, you can visit the police station or ask for a phone number for the arresting officer. Once your friend has been taken to the police station, ask whether they may have been arrested but not booked.
If they have, there may still be a chance of release without a charge.
Besides asking questions both at the scene and after the arrest, you should also pay close attention to what is happening around you.
Listen to the officer to see if he or she read your friend their rights when arrested. Note any aggressive behavior from the officer that you think might not have been justified.
3. Contact a Bail Bondsman
If you want to help your friend, the next step immediately after they are arrested and taken away from the scene is to contact a bail bondsman.
A bail bondsman will help you navigate the process of posting bail for your friend to get them out of jail fast.
If you can’t afford bail, a bondsman can help. But even if you afford the bail, it’s a good idea to work with a bondsman.
They’ll have the knowledge and experience it takes to get your friend out as fast as possible so that you can start working to help them start preparing for what happens next.
4. Get a Lawyer
If the charges against your friend are serious, or you feel they are unjust, the next step towards helping them is to get a lawyer.
A lawyer can help them navigate the charges against them and decide what they need to do next.
If your friend is short on cash or confident that he or she has a good chance of fighting the charges against them, they can also choose to represent themselves. Just make sure that they understand exactly what they’re getting into before they make that choice.
5. Offer Your Support
Once your friend has obtained a lawyer, they may not need additional help from you.
But one last thing you can do for your friend is to offer your support.
Fill in your friend and their lawyer on what you say, heard, and found out at the scene. This includes any details about the arrest, the answers you got from the officer, and even your own observations.
If there were other witnesses at the scene, you might also provide names and contact information to the lawyer in case they need to use those witnesses in court. You might also be called as a witness.
Another method of support you can offer your friend is emotional support. If you were there when the event that led to their arrest happened, you’ll be in the unique position to lend an ear to your friend and help them talk through exactly what went down.
What to do if Your Friend is Getting Arrested
When your friend is getting arrested, it can be tempting to panic or even leave the scene entirely.
But whether you are involved in the event that got them arrested or not, if you want to help your friend, there are several things you need to do.
Stay on the scene and pay attention to everything that is happening. Talk with officers to find out what they think happened. Help your friend get out of jail by contacting a bondsman.
Then, help them find a lawyer and offer your support to help as they begin the legal battle that follows every arrest.
If your friend has been arrested, we can help. Once the smoke settles and your friend is charged, contact us to get your friend out of jail fast so that you can begin helping them fight their charges.