Watching a family member break the law can be overwhelming. Not only will you feel disappointed, but you may also feel ashamed and frightened for your family member's future and well-being. If your loved one was recently arrested on a drug charge, you will most likely experience a great deal of emotional and financial distress. Of course, you will probably want to help your family member if they are stuck in jail. Here are a few steps to take after a family member is arrested on a drug offense.
Depending on how close you are with this family member, you may experience extreme stress and panic after they are arrested. This is most common if your child or spouse has been arrested.
It is important to remain calm since panicking and acting out in anxiety or anger will only make the problem worse, especially if you are showing this distress in front of police officers or court officials.
Contact an Attorney
If your family member does not consult a lawyer while they are in jail, you should contact one on their behalf. A criminal attorney will be able to meet with your family member while they are in jail and advise them before their first court appearance.
Professional legal assistance before the court appearance is crucial for a few reasons. A lawyer will help your loved one exercise their rights, fighting on their behalf to avoid serious charges, prison time, and extensive fees.
During your consultation with the attorney, make sure you are open and honest about the situation. You and your family member who was arrested at the lawyer's clients and anything you discuss with your attorney will be kept confidential.
It is also important to talk to a lawyer before you bail your family member out of jail since attorneys can help determine whether a charge will be dismissed. In addition, an attorney may be able to help get the bail amount lowered, which will lower how much you need to pay while ensuring your family member gets out of jail in an efficient manner.
Get Bail Set
Your loved one and the attorney will attend a hearing in front of a judge. During this hearing, your family member will learn their charges and most likely be released from jail after posting bail.
The judge will set a bail amount based on a few conditions. If your loved one has been charged previously with a crime, the bail will be higher. Also, a more severe charge, such as a possession of a larger amount of drugs or intent to distribute/sell, the bail will be higher. Bail amounts can increase as high as $5 million in severe instances.
A first offense possession of a small amount of drugs is a misdemeanor. If this is your loved one's first charge and they had a small amount of drugs in their possession, a bail bonds lawyer will most likely be able to reduce the charge and lower the bail amount.
Once you determine the amount, you can begin working on finding the funds to post bail. Bail bondsmen can help, especially if a high bail amount has been set.
If you are going to work with a bail bondsman, know all of the facts. Signing on a bond for your family member will mean you will be held responsible. Therefore, if your family member does not show up for their upcoming court dates, you will be responsible for paying the bail bondsman back.
Dealing with a family member who has been arrested with a drug charge is not meant to be easy. This guide will help you navigate the process of understanding your loved one's charge and getting them out of jail.
For more information on posting bail and handling a criminal charge, contact a lawyer like Raymond Martinez Attorney at Law.