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What to Do After a Loved One Is Arrested in SC

What to Do After a Loved One Is Arrested in SC

What to Do When a Friend or Loved One Gets Arrested in South Carolina

While some people can go their whole lives without getting arrested, others aren’t as lucky. From letting your anger get the best of you at a major sporting event to having one drink too many before a DUI stop, arrests can affect individuals from many diverse walks of life.

Even those who manage to maintain a spotless criminal record aren’t immune to being affected by the arrest of a friend or family member, making it all the more important for South Carolina residents to understand the citizen’s arrest laws (SC Code of Laws § 17-13-10) so they can take necessary action following the arrest of a friend or loved one.

Keep reading to learn what steps you can take to help a friend or family member in police custody.

How to Help a Friend or Loved One in Police Custody

First and foremost, it’s essential to remain calm during or after a loved one’s arrest. While this may seem like an obvious (and impossible) tip, it’s crucial to avoid intervening during the arrest if you’re there to witness it.

Determine where the person is being detained.

How people learn of their friend or loved one’s arrest can vary from person to person. No matter how you find out that the person is being detained, it’s imperative to maintain your composure and refrain from making any impulsive decisions. Generally, learning about a recent arrest can happen in one of three ways:

  1. The person calls you from jail to notify you of the arrest and their location;
  2. They disappear or stop communicating with you, signaling that you should take action; or
  3. You witness the arrest while it’s happening.

No matter how you find out about a friend or family member’s arrest, it’s imperative to maintain your composure and refrain from making any impulsive decisions. Depending on how you discover the arrest, it can be beneficial to keep these best practices in mind:

  • If the person calls you from jail – Above all else, it’s important to avoid asking too many questions or discussing sensitive information during collect calls. This is because jail calls are recorded, meaning that the prosecution can any incriminating evidence from the conversation against your loved one in court. Though it may be tempting to push the person for details, especially if you only recently found out about their arrest, it’s best to put off in-depth discussions until later.
  • If the person goes off the grid without explanation – If you stop hearing from the person and start to suspect their arrest, you may be wondering where to begin to locate your loved one. Consider talking with the person’s companions to find out where your loved one was seen last (and with whom). If you encounter dead ends, it may be time to start calling local police stations to determine the person’s location. Depending on your region, you may also be able to search arrest records on an official government website. Take care that the source is credible (“.gov” or “.us” sites are generally trustworthy).
  • If you witness the arrest – It’s understandable to feel all sorts of overwhelming emotions while witnessing the arrest of a friend or family member. It’s normal to want to jump in and defend them or physically get in the middle of the scene. While it’s healthy to validate these emotions, it’s also important to avoid acting on them.

Interfering with an arrest can create worse problems for yourself and your loved one. Just remind yourself: the appropriate time will come to defend and support your loved one during the legal proceedings, and you can be heard then. However, for the time being, it’s crucial to be as patient, calm, and compliant as possible.

That said, this doesn’t mean that you can’t voice questions to the police officers involved. In fact, you can and should get as much information as possible from law enforcement officials when possible.

Consider getting the names of the police officers on the scene, asking which jail or facility that your loved one is being transported to, and what they’re being charged with. These key details will give your loved one’s lawyer a better idea of the crime they allegedly committed, in addition to the severity of the penalties they’re up against.

Seek legal representation immediately.

It’s important to get your loved one connected with a trusted criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you can initiate the process for them while they’re being detained, this will likely be a significant benefit to them going forward. Your lawyer can work closely with you to determine next steps, get your loved one out of jail, and start preparing for the upcoming criminal proceedings.

When the time comes, they can fortify your case with sufficient evidence and fight to get the criminal charges against your loved one reduced or dismissed. Unlike other firms, our seasoned attorneys offer free consultations for your convenience, allowing us to set realistic expectations for our clients and approach each case with care and integrity.

Trusted Criminal Defense Lawyers in Lexington, SC

Since 2004, our determined team at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC has fought tooth and nail for hardworking people like you. Whether you made an honest mistake or experienced a momentary lapse in judgment, our firm believes that all human beings deserve a second chance. If you're facing criminal charges in South Carolina, it's imperative to secure strong representation from a criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience in criminal law.

Fortunately, our Lexington criminal defense firm has a proven track record of success defending the good people of South Carolina in a variety of criminal cases, from DUI defense to allegations of domestic violence. Reach out to our office to learn how our fierce legal advocates can collaborate with you to fortify the strongest defense possible and fight to achieve a favorable outcome in court.

Charged with a crime? Our Lexington criminal defense lawyers can safeguard your untarnished reputation. Call (803) 359-3301 to schedule a consultation.


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