What to do when a loved one gets arrested
No one ever wants to see someone they love be taken into custody. It's natural to worry and expect the worst. Following are some things you can do to help.
Access to Telephones and "Hygiene"Your loved one may try to reach out to you or others by telephone. There are some important things you need to know. Most jails in California contract with a provider to facilitate calls from the facility. These are likely to be GTL (GlobalTelLink), Secureus, or IC Solutions. Find out which company services the jail where your loved one is. Go to their website and put money on your phone. This is the only way they can reach out to you. Some facilities allow you to put money on a phone card for your loved one, that they can use to contact whomever they want. The phones are the only tie to the outside world, the only link to a normal life, and as such they are vitally important. This should be your first priority.
But just as the telephone can provide a lifeline, they can also destroy your loved one's case. Make sure you instruct them not to discuss anything about their case, as calls are monitored and recorded. Don't discuss anything in detail about the case with your loved one. Even something you say can be used against them if it gets mischaracterized. Limit discussion about the case to court dates, attorney contact information, and bail information only. If your loved one starts to talk about their case, hang up. It will feel awful, but you are only doing it to protect them. When they call back and ask why you hung up, explain to them that you simply cannot discuss specifics of the case because all calls are monitored and recorded. They have been through a trauma. It's only natural that they would want to tell you what is going on with them and how they see the accusations but you cannot let them.
Second, make sure that you find out how to put money on their books. This is how your loved one will have access to things like soap, shampoo, and food beyond what is supplied by the jail. Commissary is crucial to your loved one's well-being and ability to focus on their charges and fighting their case. You may have to go to the jail to use a machine. It is worth the trip.
Contact a defense attorneyThis may seem like the most predictable advice coming from an attorney, but get counsel in place for your loved one at the earliest possible time. The prosecution and police cannot talk to or interrogate someone they know is represented by counsel without counsel being present. They cannot insert someone into your loved one's cell to elicit an incriminating response. Whether your loved one is innocent or not, interrogation techniques like the Reid method are designed to elicit incriminating responses and often lead to false confessions. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have counsel by your loved one's side.