When a family member is arrested, your first instinct will be to want to help them. It can be hard to know what to do next, especially if you’ve never dealt with the law before. It’s important that you don’t let your emotions get in the way during this stressful time because it could get you in trouble with the police too.
Whether your loved one called you from the police station or you found out about the arrest through another source, it’s important to find out which jail your relative is being held in. If they need medication or have a mental health issue, then you need to contact their doctor or counselor. The medical professionals can communicate with the jail to ensure your relative gets the care they need.
It’s also imperative that your relative is careful about what they say to you if they call you. It’s up to you to let them know their call may be recorded. You can assure them you’re doing everything you can to help. Depending on what the charge is, then you may need to offer further assistance. For instance, if your relative was charged with drunk driving, you may need to pick up the vehicle.
If your relative wasn’t able to tell you when their arraignment will be, then you should contact the district attorney’s office for that information. It’s a good idea to contact an experienced attorney at this point before your loved one stands in front of a judge. Even if your relative has been assigned a public defender, it’s worth it to find a lawyer who will be there for you and your family every step of the way.
It’s essential to have reliable legal representation at the arraignment since the judge will want your relative’s plea or guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Without getting the right guidance, he or she may make the wrong plea and end up having to do time.
After the arraignment, you can continue to support your loved one by helping them work with the attorney. It’s imperative they show up to all court dates and follow through with any remediation or diversion programs. When you hire a knowledgeable lawyer, you’ll be giving your loved one the professional help they need to win their case.