It happens to the best of us. You are out and about on a Friday night, just blowing off steam after a long week, and your roommate gets a little rowdy. While you tried to diffuse the situation, it just escalated and, the next thing you know, your roommate is being cuffed and put in the back of a police car. What now?
Staying calm is the best thing for both of you at this point. Your roommate obviously isn't doing himself or herself any favors and needs you to be the sober adult this evening. Plus, you certainly don't want to get dragged into the mess and get arrested, too.
Find Out Where They Are Taking Him or Her
Politely ask the police officers on the scene where they are taking your roommate. Being rude or demanding won't get you the information you want, and you need to know where they are taking him so you can arrange to have him bailed out. Also, due to varying jurisdictions and overcrowding, he may not go to the facility that is nearest to where you are right now or even one that you are familiar with. If possible, get a phone number, address, or business card to the right location.
Ask When He or She Will Be Arraigned
Once your roommate is processed at the jail, he or she will be scheduled for an arraignment where a judge will look over his or her case and set a bail amount. The exact amount will depend on the charges against them as well as their previous arrest history, if any. There is no specific timeline for when an arraignment will occur, but it usually happens within 24 hours. You need to know when he or she will be arraigned so you can bail him or her out of jail. While the arresting officer may not know exactly when your friend will be arraigned, they will have the correct phone number to call so you can get the details.
Call a Bail Bondsman
While you are waiting for the arraignment, you will need to find a local bail bondsman who can help you post bail for your roommate. Generally, you will need to make a ten percent cash deposit with the bail bondsman, and they will pay the difference. For example, if bail is set at $10,000, you would pay $1,000 to the bail bondsman and they would pay the additional $9,000. Please keep in mind that your ten percent is non-refundable and is considered a bail bondsman fee for his or her services.
Hire an Attorney
Your next step is to find an attorney specializes in this type of law. If your roommate was arrested for a DUI, hire a lawyer who specializes in DUIs. If the arrest was more criminal in nature, hire a qualified criminal attorney. Depending on the timing and individual circumstances, you might not be able to hire them before the arraignment, but you should have one lined up as soon as possible.
Don't Miss Any Court Dates
Quite often there will be multiple court dates involved in your roommate's case. Make sure that he or she communicates with his or her lawyer and attends each and every court date. In fact, failure to appear could, in extreme cases, result in his or her bail being revoked and a bench warrant being issued for his or her arrest. Showing up for court on time is extremely important. Having to work, not having transportation, and simply forgetting are not good enough excuses for a judge. Help your roommate by making sure he or she doesn't miss any dates.
The most important thing to remember when your roommate gets arrested is to stay calm, be polite to everyone involved, and start contacting the right people to resolve the issue as soon as legally possible.Share