Have you been arrested? Here's what to do - and what to avoid. Being arrested, especially for the first time, is quite a shock.

There’s no feeling in the world like having your hands cuffed behind your back, being searched thoroughly, and then being stuck in a freezing cold intake cell for hours with scary people you don’t know.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Ask the officer nicely if you can make phone calls on the way to the jail. If not, as soon as you get to the jail, start making calls. If you’re able to do so, call a trusted friend or family member immediately so that they know what’s going on, and call us so that we’re on standby. If not, those are the first two calls to make upon arrival at the jail.
  2. Do not discuss the nature or circumstances of the crime you’ve been accused of. You have the right to remain silent – exercise that right until you consult an attorney.
  3. In North Carolina jails, you’ll see the magistrate fairly soon after you’re brought in. By “fairly soon” we mean usually within a few hours. In busy jails, this can be a slow process. The magistrate will decide your bond amount and generate a Conditions of Release and Release Order. This paper will have the bond amount listed and also any special conditions (no contact orders, ankle monitoring, etc).
    • If you’ve been accused of a domestic violence crime, a parole or probation violation, or certain other crimes, you may be held without bond until a judge in a courtroom decides.
  4. If you have health issues, disabilities, take medications, or you use substances and are in danger of detoxing, let them know so that appropriate medical care can be given. Do this even if you plan on bonding out immediately.
  5. Once a bond amount is set, call us! You’ll get an agent on the phone 24/7 at 910-547-8474 – if we don’t answer it’s because we’re on the phone with someone else. Try again. We accept collect calls from every jail and prison in the state.
  6. As soon as you’re released, you need to do several things right away:
    • Thank your bondsman and sign any paperwork. Be sure you understand the terms you’re agreeing to, including any payment plans.
    • Thank your cosigner and anyone who helped to pay for your insurance policy (bail bond).
    • Sign up for court reminders for your case number(s). It’s important to do this for every case number you have!
    • Write down absolutely EVERYTHING you remember about the incident and your arrest. Include names of people who were there, and their contact information if you know it.
    • Hire a lawyer or apply for a public defender (you’ll either do that at your first appearance or in the Clerk of Court’s office). Give them your narrative of the event that led to your arrest.
  7. Go to your first appearance! If you miss this important hearing, the judge will issue an order for arrest and the bondsman or police will take you to jail, where you could end up being stuck until trial.
  8. Go to every court date! Do not miss! If you run into trouble, talk to your lawyer or bondsman to see what options are available. Don’t try to hide from a mistake.
  9. Check in with us periodically. Be sure to let us know if you’re traveling, moving, or have a change in circumstances. And let us know how your case goes! We pray for our clients to have the best possible outcome in court.