If your phone rings in the middle of the night because a friend has been arrested, you can be sure of a couple things. First, you must be a good friend for him to feel that he can call you. Second, if you want to help your friend, you should act fast. Follow these steps and you can help a friend who is arrested in the middle of the night.
- Find out where your friend is being held. Being arrested was likely a shock for your friend and getting details may be difficult. Stay calm and ask clear questions. Most areas have different city, county or state police departments that could have arrested your friend. So find out which department and where he is located.
- Don’t ask for an explanation up front. If your friend is heading toward panic, he might want to tell you the whole story during the first call. Put a stop to the rambling quickly.
- Remind your friend of his right to remain silent and suggest that he does. Suggest that your friend not volunteer his story or submit to testing until a lawyer can be called. Be aware that some states do not require a lawyer before Breathalyzer or other tests. If you know your local laws, you might have to avoid these steps.
- Then ask your friend for the charge. Once you get your friend to stop volunteering information, you can move forward. Ask what the arrest is for, the actual charge. You will need this information to advise the lawyer. Also, if the arrest is for a minor traffic violation, you may not need a lawyer to get your friend released.
- Find a lawyer. This may take a while since most offices aren’t available in the middle of the night. Hopefully, you know a lawyer you can call. But if you don’t, start with a phone book or online search for defense lawyers in your area.
- Gather your cash and your friend’s cash. Getting your friend released will require money so gather your cash. If you have access to your friend’s ATM card or cash, get it, as you may need it.
- Head to the police station to rescue your friend. If you can’t leave your friend hanging at the police station, get there to help.
- Be supportive. Don’t berate your friend or poke fun. Try to understand your friend is upset and be supportive. There is time to make fun later when the sting of the arrest wears off.
Notice that none of these steps included calling other friends and family of your friend for help. Your friend called you, not someone else. Be there for your friend by not sharing his stress with others. Instead, follow these steps to help your friend who has been arrested.