Family Member Arrested Out of State?
Finding out that a loved one has been arrested is never a good thing, but the situation can be very heightened when that loved one happens to be arrested out of state. The first order of business when a family member is arrested is usually bailing them out of jail, but when they’re arrested out of state, would you know what to do?
The First Thing: Be Aware
The first thing you should probably understand is that whatever state the defendant is arrested is most likely where the court proceedings will be handled. So, unfortunately, if your family member or friend is arrested in Nevada but lives in Oklahoma, they will probably have to appear at their court dates in Nevada. This can mean frustrating travel and expenses.
However, good news: if the charge is a misdemeanor, sometimes the state will allow a local attorney (in this case, it would be a local Nevada attorney) to take the case and appear in court on behalf of the person who was arrested. This means that the person who was arrested will still be defended, but won’t have to travel and appear at court dates out of state. If the charge is a felony, though, the person will be required to appear in court themselves.
Can The Defendant Return Home After Bail?
The defendant must have permission from the judge to return home after being released on bail. If the judge doesn’t permit this, they will have to remain in the state where they were arrested. The more serious the crime, the higher the chances are that they will have to stay in the state where they were arrested.
If choose to hire a local lawyer from the state where the arrest was made, be sure that he or she is someone who is professional, can be trusted, and will be good at communication even though they are out-of-state. Remember, they will be representing the defendant and possibly be making appearances for him or her.
What is the First Thing You Should Do?
Okay, so you’ve learned that your family member has been arrested in another state. What’s the first thing you should do?
Call the jail where your family member or friend is being held.
Ask them if you are allowed to post bail from where you are (with a transfer bond), or if you’ll need to come to pay it in person. If they require you to come pay it yourself in person, the best thing to do is to call a professional bail bondsman nearby that jail to help you.
A local bail bondsman will take care of the paperwork, and may even be able to appear on your behalf at the jail to post bail instead of you having to go yourself. If you’re allowed to post bail over the phone and you already know a bail bondsman that is local to you, call that person and ask if they are licensed to post bail anywhere in the U.S. If they are licensed to do so, great! They can take care of it for you.
More About Transfer Bonds
When you’re able to post bail from anywhere, you’ll be using a transfer bond. These require a more complex process than a normal bail bond, which means that they tend to be more expensive (typically around $100 more).
Because every state and case is different when it comes to court proceedings and bail bonds, it’s important to know what to do in the event that someone you care about is arrested. If you have questions about out-of-state arrests and bail bonds, please inquire with a professional.
*Disclaimer: Signature Bail Bonds can not give legal advice or represent a client in a legal capacity. If you feel that you need legal advice, contact an attorney.