They’re Arresting Him!
It is always hard to find out a friend or a loved one has been arrested or is in jail. Watching it happen can be even worse. Some of us will be lucky enough to avoid that experience, but for many people it is a reality that they will have to face not only once but multiple times. Too often this situation can get out of hand, especially if alcohol or controlled substances are involved, and can even lead to charges of those who are around when the arrest happens. This post is a breakdown on how an arrest can happen, and what you can, and cannot, do as a bystander.
Police contact and an arrest are two different things. Police contact might be an officer asking an individual questions, taking down information, or simply following up on past contact. An arrest occurs when an individual is taken into custody. This will typically involve the person being handcuffed, searched and brought into custody. Regardless of an individual’s guilt or innocence, when a person is being arrested he or she needs to be cooperative. If an individual who is being arrested attempts to flee, is verbally or physically abusive, or resists the arrest, that individual is running the risk of additional charges, such as obstructing, resisting, battery to an officer, or disorderly conduct.
If you are present when an individual is being arrested, you should remain as calm as possible. Yelling at an officer, attempting to free or prevent an individual from being taken away, or any other behavior similar to this makes the officer’s job much more difficult and dangerous and can quickly land you in a squad car as well. While it can be extremely frustrating to watch, the more civil and polite you are with the officer, the better of you are in this situation. For example, you may be able to ask what the individual is possibly being charged with, what jail they are being taken to, and whether the individual will be able to get out on bond.
At the time of the arrest, you may feel that you have important information relating to the case someone is being arrested for. While you may in fact have helpful information, the time of the arrest is not the time to try and give it. If possible, try to find out the officer’s name, or get his or her card, and contact them later to give a statement. It is unlikely that an officer will be able to talk with everyone, especially if there are multiple people around or if anyone is causing a scene. The officer may simply be focused on detaining an individual, taking an individual into custody, or otherwise restoring order and making sure the situation is safe.
Now that the individual has been arrested, there are several options that exist. Typically, the best thing you can do for the individual who was arrested is contact a defense attorney. A defense attorney can help determine what exact charges the individual may be facing, attempt to arrange for bond, and go over the different outcomes and possibilities with you.