Skip to main content

How do you get a Criminal defense lawyer in an emergency?

Orlando, FL |

You are on vacation in a strange city, you are arrested and in interrogation. You want to have a lawyer present, but you also know its 7 pm and you dont know a sole in that area. You feel you are too well off fincanially for a public defender. You feel you cannot ask the police for a reffferal. You dont want to spend the night in jail. You dont want to waste a phone call you may need to make bail. You want to get back to the friends you are visiting before they get worried. You are innocent and scared. What do you do to get a lawyer and not spend the night in jail and who do you call and how and when? (This all happened and I want to know in retrospect)

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6


The fact of the matter is that if you've been arrested, you are likely going to spend the night in jail. You can, frankly, speed things up by informing the police that you don't want to talk without a lawyer (i.e. you have nothing to say to them). You'll be taken back to the jail to await First Appearance (where you might be allowed the opportunity to contact a lawyer or post bail if one has been assigned to the crime you've been charged with). Contrary to popular belief, the police are not going to "help you out" and no matter what you say, you are not going to be un-arrested. So, you might as well claim your rights, make your phone call, and move on. As to who to call, it's my understanding that the jails have some bail bonds company information handy and they or the other inmates will likely be able to give you the name of attorneys who might be taking calls at that time of the night.

This response is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney to fully discuss your issues.


I agree with my colleague but would add that if you know you are going to be arrested contact a bail bond company and provide all of your information and then let a person you trust know that you are going to be arrested. Then if you can, your first call can be to the bondsman or person and it will speed up your walk through in jail.

Visit our website at to ask your legal question or call for a more detailed free consultation for your legal issue. The information presented is for information purposes only based on the information provided. An attorney client relationship is not formed.


The first thing I would do is tell the Officer I want an attorney. I will not speak to you without an attorney present. I agree with my colleagues. If you have been brought to jail you are already under arrest and they are not going to "unarrest you." Ask how much your bond is. I would use my phone call to call whoever I knew in the area and tell them what your bond is if you know how much it is and to call a defense attorney as soon as possible who lives in the area who is willing to come to the jail immediately. Your friends could call the florida bar referral service or search for lawyers on the internet who advertise being available 24/7. You would provide your friend as much as you know about what is going on and especially which jail you are located in.
The key is to call one person you trust who would be willing to call lawyers where you are being held. That person does not even need to be in your area, just willing to call your area. However if you are not able to bond out in time you will go to first appearance where the judge will set your bond. Then you will know exactly how much it will cost you to bond out and have your friend call a bondsmen or ask people in the jail if they know a bondsmen but make sure you do not talk about any facts of your case.


I agree with the other lawyers but would add a caution: do not hire a lawyer to represent you just because of a reccomendation of a bail bondsman.


Keep your mouth shut and call a bondsman to get you out


The first thing you need to do is get out of jail. Do not speak to the police. Call your friends to contact a bondsman and once out seek referrals from people in the area. Even though you don't qualify for a PD, many offices will provide you with local attorneys.