What Should I Do If My Loved One Is Arrested?

If you get a call from your loved one that he or she has been arrested, find out where he or she is being held. Either he or one of the officers can tell you in which city or town he has been arrested and in what precinct or State Police barrack he is being held. The next thing you need to know is whether a bail commissioner has authorized his release or if he is being held until his court appearance. If the bail commissioner has authorized his release on bail, come with the full amount in cash plus a $40 “bail commissioner fee.” He will be required to appear in court the following business day or a warrant will be issued for his arrest. He will be told which district court handles cases originating out of the city or town where he has been arrested. Once he appears in court, the prosecutor may still ask for bail on the criminal case. There are no guarantees that he will be released from court but if he walks into court through the front door (that is, not in custody), then he is more likely to walk out of that same door. If you and other family and friends can be in court with him that morning, he is less likely to be held on bail since he has demonstrated that he has “ties to the community.” If possible, you and his family and friends should dress appropriately for court (no shorts, tank tops, sweatpants). Although it should not matter, the judge who will be setting bail will be judging you just as s/he is judging your loved one.

If your loved one is not being released, find out from the police or on-line which local district court serves the town where the arrest has taken place. In Massachusetts, the courts start running at 9 a.m. on Mondays to Fridays and are closed weekends and holidays. That means that if your loved one is arrested Friday evening of a long weekend, he will remain in a police holding cell until Tuesday morning. If your loved one needs medication or eyeglasses, bring those items to the station. If they are not accepted by the police, bring them to the courthouse. Once in court there will be a bail hearing that is separate and unrelated to the bail commissioner’s determination the night before. If you and other family and friends can be in court for him that morning, he is less likely to be held on bail since he has demonstrated that he has “ties to the community.” As discussed above, please dress appropriately for court.

Your loved one needs an experienced attorney who will fight for him from the moment he first enters the courtroom until his case is over. Please call me to discuss your loved one’s case.

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