A friend is someone close to you, a person you care about, and somebody you would do anything for. It can be a confusing and challenging time when your friend is arrested. You may not know what to do or where to turn.
Here are some tips on what to do if you are in this situation:
1. Know Where They Are Being Held
If your friend has been arrested, the first thing you need to do is find out where they are being held. Contact the police department and ask for information on where your friend is and the charges.
You can also contact a criminal defense lawyer who can help you find out this information and provide you with more advice on what to do next.
Generally, an accused can post bail and be released from jail until their court date. However, in some cases where the charges are more serious or if the accused is considered a flight risk, they may not be allowed to post bail and will have to remain in jail until their court date.
If your friend is allowed to bail, you have to know the bail amount and where to get the money. The bail amount is generally set by a judge and will vary depending on the charges and the defendant’s criminal history. If you don’t have the money to post bail, you can ask family or friends to help out, or you can try to get a loan from a bank or other lending institution. One of the best options is to look for bail bondsmen to pay for the bail.
2. Stay In Touch With Your Friend
It can be difficult for someone who has been arrested for feeling alone. Make sure you stay in touch with your friend, even if they are in jail. Send them letters, make phone calls, or visit them in person. Let them know that you are there for them and support them.
According to experts, imprisonment causes depression, which can take years to overcome. So, being there for your friend can help them get through this difficult time.
3. Make Sure They Have Legal Representation
Your friend will likely need legal representation. The court will provide one if they cannot afford a lawyer. Make sure your friend has a good attorney who will represent them in court and help them get the best possible outcome.
Your friend can choose from two types of lawyers: public defenders and private attorneys. Public defenders are lawyers who work for the government and are provided to people who cannot afford a lawyer. Personal attorneys are lawyers who work for themselves and usually charge more money.
Whatever you choose, make sure your friend has someone who will fight for them and help them get through this difficult time. If you don’t know where or how to find a lawyer, here’s a guide to choosing the best criminal defense attorney.
4. Be Prepared For The Court Date
Your friend’s court date may be months or even years away. However, it is vital to prepare for it. Make a calendar and mark down the date of the court hearing. Find out as much information as you can about the charges your friend is facing and what to expect at the hearing.
5. Be Prepared For A Long Court Process
The court process is long and difficult. Your friend may have to go to court several times, and it could take months or even years for the case to be resolved. Be patient and supportive during this time.
Here are the things you can expect at a criminal court hearing:
- The defendant will be called into the courtroom.
- The defendant’s lawyer will speak on their behalf.
- Prosecutors will present their cases.
- Witnesses may be called to testify.
- The defendant may or may not be allowed to speak.
- A verdict will be announced.
6. Stay Positive
It can be hard not to feel overwhelmed or scared when your friend is arrested. But it is important to stay positive and hopeful. The situation may seem dire right now, but there is always a chance for things to improve. Keep your chin up and be there for your friend.
Being positive helps your friend believe that things will eventually work out and provide hope in a difficult time.
7. Avoid Talking To The Media
The media may approach you for comments about your friend’s arrest. But it’s best not to talk to them. Anything you say could be used against your friend in court. If you have any other questions about what to do after a friend has been arrested, don’t hesitate to contact a criminal defense lawyer for more advice.
What If Your Friend Is Found Guilty?
If your friend is found guilty, they will likely be sentenced at that time. If they are found innocent, the case will be over. But what if your friend is sentenced to jail time?
It is important to remember that not all sentences include jail time. There are many different sentencing options, such as community service, probation, and house arrest.
- Community Service. Community service is a type of sentence where the defendant is required to do unpaid work in the community.
- Probation. Probation is a type of sentence where the defendant must follow certain conditions, such as reporting to a probation officer, staying out of trouble, and paying fines.
- House Arrest. House arrest is a type of sentence where the defendant must stay at home for a certain amount of time.
If your friend is sentenced to jail time, you can visit them in jail. You may also want to think about hiring a criminal defense lawyer to help with the appeal process. If you help your friend plan early on, they can have a better chance to get a reduced sentence or even be released from jail.
It is important to remember that your friend still needs your support, whatever the outcome. Be there for them during this difficult time and offer encouragement. Things will eventually get better.