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What You Should and Shouldn’t Do If Someone Calls You After an Arrest

There are a few things you should and should not do if someone calls you after an arrest. This is an image of a woman making a phone call.

Posted 3 years ago by Jim Titus

After an arrest, an individual has the right to remain silent and has the right to an attorney. That much is true. Contrary to popular belief, however, the “right” to make a phone call isn’t necessarily so in every state. However, individuals who have been arrested may ask to make a phone call and may be granted permission to do so.

But there are some things you should keep in mind if you are the first person someone calls after being arrested. This is important because your actions could make a difference in the outcome of the individual’s case.

What You Should Not Do When You Receive a Phone Call After an Arrest

If you receive a phone call from a loved one who has been arrested, it’s important to keep this in mind: Keep it short and sweet.

Don’t ask too many questions about what happened. The phone call most likely will be recorded, and what is said could possibly be used against the defendant. 

The Fifth Amendment protects an individual’s right not to incriminate oneself. It states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

You also should not overreact, or you may frighten the individual, who likely already is distraught. Do not make them feel worse about what is happening. 

You also shouldn’t get angry. The criminal justice system is there not only to protect victims, but also the defendants. In other words, don’t try to take matters into your own hands.

Do not voice concerns to the caller about how much this is going to cost you, and do not judge them without hearing the full story

But, again, don’t ask for the full story at that point. 

What You Should Do

You can offer comforting comments, like “I love you, and it will be OK.” Calmly let them know you will be there for them through this ordeal.

During that phone call, you do need to obtain important details. Tell the individual to answer factually without going into too much detail or description. If you are being asked to bail the individual out of jail or help him or her find an attorney, you will need to get answers to the following questions:

Having the answers to these questions will help us get your loved one out of jail faster. Contact us as soon as possible after the arrest. We are available to assist you 24/7 throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Call us at 313-244-0669.


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