The news that someone you care for has been arrested and taken to jail can be an enormous shock to your system. If you have found yourself on the receiving end of this type of phone call be sure to remember the following things.
If the defendant calls you from jail, don’t discuss any details of the case over the phone. It is natural to want to get as much information about what happened and how this person wound up on the wrong side of the law, but talking about the circumstances surrounding the arrest when someone is calling from a jail phone is a big no-no. These lines are often recorded and you shouldn’t encourage the defendant to say anything that could hurt them in court. Ask what jail they are at, how much their bail is, what they are being charged with and if there is anyone they need you to call. Keep the conversation narrow and let them know you’re working to get them out jail fast.
Try to keep your wits about you. When you start the process of hiring a bondsman you’ll need to sign legally binding documents that say you agree to pay the bondsman’s fee and you agree to make sure the defendant will attend all their mandatory court appearances. Be sure to read the bail bonds agreement and have the agent clarify anything that is unclear before you sign anything.
Don’t automatically assume the worst. When someone is taken into custody many people automatically assume the worst possible scenario has taken place, but that isn’t always the case. Find out exactly what happened once the defendant is released; from there you can decide whether it’s appropriate to contact an attorney for further advice.
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