What's Next? Be Prepared When A Loved One Is Arrested

The legal process for those accused of a crime is seldom discussed or considered by most people. That means that when the prospect of dealing with a loved one's arrest falls into your lap, you might not be ready. Read on for a simplified look at what's next.

At the holding jail

Depending on the location of your loved one's arrest, they may be taken to a city or county jail, at least temporarily. The intake procedure involves being searched, photographed, and fingerprinted. They may be placed in a cell alone or with others. In most cases, those not bailed out are moved to a different location eventually. It's vital that you locate your loved one if you want to arrange bail for them. If you are uncertain, you can find out by calling both city and county facilities.

At the bail hearing or arraignment

Your loved one will soon appear before a judge, a process known by various terms. Delays are common for weekend arrests, but chances are that they will be seeing the judge within about 24 hours of the arrest. Three important tasks are accomplished at this first court hearing.

1. Your loved one is officially informed of the charges and asked to enter a plea.

2. Your loved one is queried about the need for a public defender.

3. Your loved one is informed about bail

When bail is offered

Bail is usually on offer if the accused is a first-time offender and the crime to which they are accused is not serious. Both the ability to be offered bail and the amount of the bail varies depending on a number of factors, such as:

  • The seriousness of the crime in question.
  • The past criminal record of the accused.
  • Whether or not the accused has previously been offered bail and, if so, whether or not they complied with all conditions of the bail.
  • The employment, community, citizenship, and family status of the accused.

When you bail out your loved one

It's difficult to be in the position of having to deal with bailing a loved one out of jail, but here is where things get a lot easier. Bail bonding agencies exist to assist people like you with bail issues. For a small fee, which is just a small percentage of the bail, a bail bond agent can secure your loved one's release from jail. It's highly advisable that you deal with a bail bonds company that is in close proximity to the facility where your loved one is being held. Before calling them, find out where your loved one is being held, the charges brought, and the cost of the bail. The agent will do the rest. To learn more, speak to bail bonding agent.