What to Do for an Arrested Loved One
Start by learning where your loved one is
If you’re loved one is held, find out whether he or she is at a local, state police, or federal law enforcement (FBI) office:
• Get help. Tell him or her you’ll find a lawyer to represent them.
• Stay silent. Remind him or her not to answer any questions posed by the police until the defense attorney arrives.
Learn the charges your loved one is facing
If your loved one has been arrested, find out 1) the charges and 2) when the arrest occurred:
• Avoid discussing what happened on the phone. If he or she tries to explain, don’t allow it. Your loved one’s call is probably being recorded by law enforcement for eventual use in a trial case. Explain once more that he or she needs to explain all of these details to an experienced Texas defense lawyer.
• Don’t discuss anything with law enforcement. If a detective or police officer contacts you about the loved one’s arrest, tell him or her that you’re in the process of finding a qualified attorney for your family member or friend and you can’t respond to any questions.
Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Texas
Many experienced criminal defense lawyers are available 24/7. Don’t delay. Contact a criminal defense lawyer now. Explain 1) about the arrest and provide as many details as you have, and 2) ask the Texas criminal defense attorney to contact the detention center holding your loved one right away.
If it’s unclear about the bail needed to free your loved one before trial, ask the criminal defense lawyer to obtain this information.
How to find a qualified criminal defense lawyer
If you don’t have time to ask for referrals from friends and family in Texas, search for “Texas criminal defense lawyer” or “Houston criminal defense attorney.” Reach out to a criminal defense attorney immediately, and prove him with the information you have about the charges and arrest of your loved one.
Next steps to help your arrested loved one
- Bring funds to post bail or cover legal fees. When possible, collect cash to post bail and cover any legal fees required by the criminal defense lawyer. If your loved one needs to post bond for a traffic violation or minor crime, it’s usually possible to do this at the station house.
- Avoid discussing the matter with other friends and family. Don’t allow a well-meaning person to influence your decision to contact a criminal defense attorney now. This is precisely the step that will best benefit your loved one. Criminal defense lawyers owe a duty of competence to the client in Texas. He can be held responsible for bad advice given to his clients. The criminal defense attorney will defend your loved one’s legal rights. In addition, the criminal defense lawyer offers your loved one attorney-client privilege. This means your loved one’s criminal defense lawyer can’t be called on to testify against him or her in the future.
- Devise a course of action. With the criminal defense lawyer’s input, develop an action plan.
- Document what happens. Help your loved one by writing down any important details. Tell your loved one to keep notes because it may be more difficult to recall what happened in this stressful time later.
- Pay bail bond. Ask the criminal defense attorney for suggestions about how and with whom to arrange bail. In most instances, the judge will establish bond shortly after an individual is arrested. Bail, or bond, is a financial guarantee that the individual will appear as agreed in any subsequent court proceedings after being released from the initial holding. The bail amount is typically contingent on the charge brought against your friend or family member and the circumstances that surrounded any prior convictions, community ties, and employment.After you know the amount of bond, you may post the funds in several ways, including 1) Pay by cash or check in full to the holding agency. If your loved one is compliant with the court’s instructions, the funds are returned to you when his or her charges are resolved; 2) Choose a bail bonds firm if you don’t have the full amount of cash on hand. You will be charged a percentage of the bond face amount, usually 10 to 15 percent of the face amount; 3) You may have the option to request pretrial release for your loved one. This may require a lower payment than a bail bond. Your loved one may qualify if he or she isn’t accused of a serious crime. Consult the criminal defense attorney.
- Provide emotional support to your loved one. After he or she is released, show your support. Realize this is a trying time. Listen without making judgments.
Why Was Your Loved One Arrested on Christmas?
Statistics show that the following legal infractions result in more arrests on or around the Christmas holiday season:
- Driving under the influence (DUI). It’s a fact that people attend more parties and festivities over the Christmas holiday season. Your loved one may consume too many alcoholic beverages or take a prescription drug or illegal substance before getting behind the wheel. If your loved one is planning to party, help him or her to book a hotel room or stay over with his or her host after a party. Alternatively, arrange to pick him or her up at the party or venue or ensure he or she has enough money on hand to take a taxi. Discourage drunk driving. A DUI charge during the holidays can mean the loss of driving privileges, significant fines, and jail time.
- Domestic battery. The holiday season is stressful for many people. A small argument between family members or strangers can escalate. It may be more difficult to post bail because prosecutors in Texas are more likely to pursue the defendant accused of battery. If convicted, he or she faces significant fines and jail or prison time.
- Drug possession. Law enforcement officers are on the lookout for drug users over the holidays. Drug possession charges may be serious, depending on the drugs (and amount of drugs) your loved one has in his or her possession. Even if your loved one doesn’t sell drugs, having a large amount of any drug on hand can prompt police to charge him or her with the intent to sell. If convicted, your loved one faces significant fines and jail or prison time.
- Burglary. Burglaries increase during the holiday season. More individuals and families report break-ins, stolen packages, car thefts, and so on at this time. Burglary in Texas refers to any act of entering a structure or building with the intent to take property from its owner without his or her approval. Any burglary charge is a serious matter. First-degree burglary is a felony in Texas, requiring prison time and significant fines.Recognize that any arrest and subsequent conviction is a negatively life-altering experience. Your family member or loved one will have a criminal record to deal with in the future if he or she is convicted of the charges. Do everything you can to protect your loved one’s future now.
Schedule your free consultation with defense attorney Brett Podolsky >>
Avoid Tough Love at Christmas
Although it may seem like a teachable moment to some folks, consider your loved one. Don’t let him or her spend any time in jail if it’s possible to avoid it.
Even if you consider that your loved one put himself or herself—or others at risk, consider that leaving him or her in jail won’t help. If your loved one has a job or goes to school, it’s important to keep the paycheck. Failing at school is another horrendous present to give your loved one now.
Finally, realize that jail is just a terrifying experience for most people. Whether it’s the first time or he or she has had a previous scuffle with the law, any time behind bars is scary. Give your loved one the empathy and compassion you’d give to most others in this time of goodwill.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Houston TX
Your loved one’s arrest on Christmas is a legal emergency. Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who can make a positive difference in the outcome of your family member or friend’s case.
Call The Law Office of Brett Podolsky at 713-227-0087 for immediate assistance.