PHOENIX - If your friend of family member is arrested in Arizona, it can be a distressing situation. It’s extremely important that you handle it correctly if you decide to get involved.
Remember: Everyone arrested is innocent until proven guilty. If your loved one did commit a crime, they will have to pay the consequences, but following these steps will ensure they get a fair shake in the Arizona courts system.
1. Stay calm: Whether you witness the arrest or you’re just hearing about it, it is important to keep a cool head. Do not be rude or disrespectful to law enforcement officers. The worst thing that could happen is for you to end up behind bars as well. Be polite and ask the officers for the information you need to help your loved one.
2. Gather information: If you witness the arrest, you are fully within your rights to ask the arresting officer to confirm that your loved one is under arrest and not just being detained. If they are, in fact, under arrest, get the name of the charge. You’ll also need to find out which precinct your loved one is being taken to.
If you didn’t witness the arrest and are receiving a call from jail, it’s important that you don’t discuss the events over the phone that led to your loved one’s arrest. The call could be monitored, so you should stick to the basic information you need: where they are and what they’re charged with. Tell your loved one not to speak about the case without a lawyer present.
3. Help them get a lawyer, if needed: If your friend wants to hire a lawyer, you might need to help them get one. Contact your local bar association or search their website for a referral who can meet your friend in jail. If hiring a lawyer isn’t an option, they will be assigned a public defender.
4. Bail them out: If you can’t afford the full bail amount, find a bail bondsman who has experience dealing with the charges your loved one is facing. Didn’t Do It Bail Bonds, the sponsor of this article, has locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa.
After following those steps, their legal representative can guide them through the rest of the process.