Being arrested for a crime can be one of the most difficult experiences a person faces in their life. You are put in handcuffs, placed in the back of a police cruiser and then taken to jail where you will stay until a bond is set and you make payment to get out. Because you are in jail you don’t have a lot of opportunity to communicate with the outside world to get the help you need immediately.
The booking process
The first think you need to do is try to remain as calm as you can and be respectful of the staff working in the jail. The people that work there can help you if you show them respect but sometimes acting up while in custody can result in picking an additional charge or affect your bond as they will report that you were disruptive during the process. The golden rule for criminal charges is do no harm to yourself.
Call an attorney, spouse, or family member
You need help from someone outside the jail if you want to get out as soon as possible. Calling a family member, friend or better yet, an attorney is the best way to get released and you can start dealing with the charge. You need to tell them what jail you are located, what the charge is against you and what time your bond hearing will be.
When you make that call to get help do not under any circumstances admit guilt to the crime or discuss any of the facts as the calls are recorded and can be used against you. Do not discuss the facts with anyone inside the jail as they can use that to provide information to law enforcement to try and get a deal for themselves, trust nobody.
Get money for the bond
This can be one of the most difficult things to do because you are in jail have limited access to cash. Before you go to the bond hearing make sure you have money to meet the terms of the bond. An attorney can help you with this but if you do not have one at this point contact a bondsman so they can help you in the event you make bond. The last thing you want is to be stuck in jail because you cannot meet the financial terms of the bond.
What to do once you are out of jail
The most important thing to do once you are released is to show up for any and all court dates. Even if you do not have an attorney you need to appear otherwise you risk getting a bench warrant issued for your arrest and then you may be stuck in jail until the case is resolved which can be over one year sometimes or you are forced to enter a guilty plea so you can be released. Don’t put yourself in a position to make bad decisions under pressure, stay on top of your court dates and be proactive in helping your own cause.