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  • Writer's pictureLauryn Lauderdale

What To Do When Your Loved One Is Arrested?

Your loved one has been arrested and you want to help but don't know what do do or say (or not to say). It is hard not to panic. We can help. The following are steps you can take to assist and comfort your loved one after an arrest.


Be respectful.

ALWAYS be respectful to the police. They are public employees and you may ask questions as long as you do not interfere with their ability to conduct their job. Most officers are willing to provide basic information if asked politely.

They are public employees, and it is not illegal to ask them questions as long as you are not interfering with their ability to do their job. Most officers are willing to provide basic information when questioned politely.

Confirm the arrest.

First asked the officers if your loved one is free to go. If your friend or family member is not free to leave, ask as he has been arrested or simply being detained. If your loved one has been arrested, ask why. If the arrest was made pursuant to a warrant, inquire as to which law enforcement agency issued the warrant and the amount of the bond. Ask the officers where your loved one will be booked and where you can bond them out.

Gather information.

Try to obtain the name of the arresting agency and the name of the arresting officers. Make a note of the time, date, and location of the arrest. This information can be very useful in finding your loved one in the local jail system, and these facts could be relevant to future court motions challenging the validity of the arrest.

Reassure your loved one.

If you are able to talk with your loved one before he is taken to the police department, counsel him not to answer any questions that go beyond routine booking questions like name and date of birth. Remind him of his right to remain silent and to ask for an attorney if officers start questioning him about the facts pertaining to the arrest. Reassure him that you will make attempts to bond him out as soon as possible and that you will help him obtain a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

Be available.

Make sure that your phone is charged and turned on and that you have it with you. Once at the jail, the loved one should be allowed to make a phone call.


Do not ask for details about what happened.

Do not ask about the circumstances leading up to and surrounding your loved ones arrest. This is critical because almost all jails record these telephone calls, and the District Attorney’s Office will surely obtain a copy of the recording and use it against him. This is not the time for scolding or making excuses.

Get his location.

Ask where your loved one is being held. Obtain the name and address of the facility and write this information down.

Remain calm.

Your loved one will be scared and desperate to get out of jail. Remain calm. Reassure him that he is not alone and will not be abandoned. You will work to get him out of jail as soon as possible and find an attorney to help him.

Urge him to remain silent.

Tell your loved one not to discuss his case with anyone while in jail until he meets with an attorney. Be aware that this may be difficult for your loved one to do, especially if he is questioned while in custody. Help him by telling him exactly what to say: “I don’t want to answer any questions. I want to talk to an attorney.”

Contact a criminal defense attorney.

Don’t delay. With so much at stake, you need a criminal defense attorney on your loved one side as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, please contact us at 334-749-5196 so we can help!

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