It is the middle of the night. Your child, spouse, family member or friend has just been arrested and wants you to help them. You have tried to call your friends and other family members to ask them what to do but nobody is answering. Now what?
Step 1: If the person is in need of immediately legal advice, call GRL Law at 515-226-0500. If it is after normal business hours, the 24/7 on-call attorney number will be listed on the message.
Step 2: Contact the arresting agency and ask if they will release the arrested person to your custody on a promise to appear, if you come down and pick them up.
Step 3: If the arresting agency will not release the arrested person on a promise to appear citation, find out how much their bail is. Some agencies, especially for domestic abuse charges and alcohol related charges require the person to see a judge in the morning before being released. If this is the case, there is nothing you can do to get the person out of jail until after they have seen the judge. Let the arrested person know this and try to get back to sleep.
Step 4: If bail is available, decide if you are willing to post the bail. You will be financially responsible if the person fails to appear at their upcoming court dates. This is a decision you will have to make.
Step 5: Decide if you want to post the entire amount of bail or just 10% through a bondsman. If you post the entire amount, you will get that money back at the conclusion of their case which can range anywhere from three months to a year, depending on the charge. If you go through a bondsman, they get paid the 10% and guarantee the rest, sometimes through your collateral. You will not get the 10% back as that is how bondsmen make a living.
Step 6: If you cannot aford to bail the person out, make sure they know to make a request to be released on pretrial release with services. Every county has different requirements for pretrial release. The arrested person needs to be interviewed and go through the approval process.
Step 7: Contact GRL Law to discuss the case and options as soon as possible.
Step 8: If bail cannot be posted and if the person does not qualify for pretrial release, a Motion for Bond Review needs to be filed as soon as possible. It will then be up to the judge on whether bond should be lowered or if the person can be released on any other conditions that the judge determines to be appropriate.