When you started your day or went out in the evening, you likely anticipated it being like any other. You may have had plans with friends, your spouse or loved ones and intended to do some fun activities. What you may not have anticipated, however, was having an officer take your loved one into custody.
An officer may have stopped your vehicle and considered your loved one driving under the influence, or maybe you all found yourselves involved in an altercation with another person and your loved one ended up accused of assault. Whatever the reason, an officer placed him or her under arrest.
What can you do?
You may have viewed the situation much differently than the officer, and you may have even tried to give your witness account of the event. Nonetheless, your loved one was still taken away, and you may have felt a sense of panic about what to do. Because you do not want to leave him or her to stay in jail, you may wonder about how you can help.
You may think that you can just go to the jail and bail out your loved one. While that may be what happens on television and in movies, bail is not necessarily set immediately when a person goes to jail.
For some offenses, a set bail amount may exist, but for others, a judge must determine whether bail is applicable and how much the amount should be. If police arrested your loved one on a Friday night, he or she may have to stay in jail for the weekend until a judge is back on Monday.
Your loved one may have a set bail amount and need you to come pay. However, the judge could release your loved one on his or her own recognizance. This option means that he or she essentially promises to show up to court when scheduled. This is typically the best option and can hopefully prevent financial difficulties for you and your loved one regarding bail.
Of course, even if you can help your loved one get out of jail, he or she may still have a long road ahead when it comes to handling the criminal charges. You may still want to assist during this time, and pointing him or her in the direction of an experienced attorney may be beneficial.