It comes out of nowhere. One minute, you are going about your day, just like any other day. Work, school, family, friends. The next minute, your phone is ringing with the news that will shake you to your very core.

It feels like the earth has opened beneath your feet and is threatening to swallow you whole. You struggle to make sense of what he’s saying, but it’s difficult to focus.  There’s a moment when your call ends, and you wonder, “Which should I do now?”   

What to do When a Loved One is Arrested

When a loved one is arrested, you probably go through every emotion in the book. You might be scared, confused, a little bit angry, and quite embarrassed. After all, no one expects this to happen to them. If you’re like many, you freeze up like a deer in headlights. They don’t teach you how to handle these situations in school. 

Stay Calm and Focused

While a storm of emotions rages inside you, your loved one needs you to stay level-headed during this ordeal. You are their lifeline to the outside world and to returning to some semblance of a normal life. Of course, there’s also the possibility that they have committed the crime. In either case, remaining calm will help you make the right choices throughout this experience.

If you have the opportunity to speak with them, you must encourage them to stay calm as well. Please assure them that you will find an attorney for them, and that you’ll work to get them released from jail.

Collect Information About Your Loved One’s Arrest

In this situation, knowledge truly is power. If you want to help your loved one, you’ll need to learn as much as you can about their arrest. Armed with this information, you can take the next steps to get them released from jail and get them legal representation.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  1. Who is holding them? Many states, like California, have multiple law enforcement agencies where your loved one may be incarcerated. For example, Southern California has a police department, sheriff’s department, and county jail.
  2. Was their car impounded during the arrest and how can a third-party person get it out of impound so it doesn’t accrue fees?
  3. What is the crime they are being charged with?
  4. When is their arraignment scheduled? 

The more you know, the better off you’ll be and the more educated decisions you can make.

Post Bail if it is Granted

  Three things can happen when your loved one is arraigned. These include:

  1.   ROR (release on own recognizance). Because of their roots in the community, their employment, and no criminal record, the judge expects your loved one (the defendant) to return to court for their next hearing and not be jailed until then. 
  2. Released with bail. If the judge feels that your loved one is not a danger to the community, however, if released, they may fail to appear in court, and they may require bail. To be released, a defendant must pay bail. The bail money is forfeited if they don’t show up for their court date after posting bail (more about that later).      
  3. Defendant remains in jail until next court date without bail. Several factors go into a judge making this decision. Has the defendant failed to appear in court in the past? What is the defendant’s attitude in court? Are they foreign residents who could easily leave the jurisdiction? What statements have law enforcement officials made in regards to the case and the defendant? What are his or her mental state and physical condition?

When the judge decides to grant bail, he or she will have to make another decision… how much will bail be? To determine this, the judge will consider:

  • The severity of the offense
  • Ties to the community
  • Past court appearance history
  • The defendant’s work situation and family responsibilities

The amount of bail can range from $15,000 for a restraining order violation, to well over $1,000,000 for assault with an attempt to rape or burglarize. If that seems steep to you, you are not alone. Most families do not have enough cash on hand to bail someone out of jail. When this is the case, it’s time to contact a bail bondsman. 

Hiring a Bail Bondsman

When you hire a bail bondsman, they will take up to 10% of the bail amount.  You can buy a bond for $10,000 if bail is $100,000. If the bond is for a big amount, you might have to put up collateral.   This is the bail bondsman’s insurance so if your loved one does not show up to their court appearances, the bail bondsman can recoup the money forfeited to the court.

This will allow you to create a plan for their defense and determine the next steps for keeping your loved one out of jail.

The emotional fallout alone is life-changing. A bail bondsman can help get your loved one out of jail and back with the family where they belong.


If you need to post bail in Rancho Cucamonga, Van Nuys, or Los Angeles California, contact Dan’s Bail Bonds for an experienced, professional, and discrete bail bondsman.