Four Important Steps to Take if Your Husband, Fiance or Boyfriend Gets Arrested:
Few things feel as overwhelming and earth-shattering as your significant other being arrested. That is why defense attorney and wife Susan Lawson has outlined these 4 steps you should take if your husband, fiance, or boyfriend ever gets arrested.
- Have Him Exercise His Right to Remain Silent
- Post Bail to Get Him Out of Jail
- Hire a Defense Attorney
- Reclaim Your Life and Sense of Normalcy
No wife or spouse should ever have to find herself in a position where her husband or significant other is in jail and has to get him out. Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people and these types of situations are quite common.
You may be feeling the pressure to hold your family together and do everything it takes to keep the ship afloat. In our practice, we have seen on several occasions that it is the wife or spouse that finds our firm. As a result, we understand your situation and the stress that goes along with it.
If this is the first time you have found yourself in this predicament, then it is quite likely that understanding and navigating the legal system will be one of the biggest hurdles you will have to face. That is why we decided to make an article with an outline of steps that are easy to understand so that you can help your spouse if he gets arrested.
Step 1: Have Your Husband Exercise His Right to Remain Silent
This is one of the most important steps for the long-term success of your husband’s case. You may have heard that citizens have a constitutional right to remain silent while in police custody, but you may not be fully aware of why it is so crucial to exercise this right when in this situation.
From the moment a law enforcement officer first makes contact with you, every single detail of the interaction is being documented. Most officers wear body cameras that record all of their conversations with suspects. This puts your spouse in a dangerous situation because anything he says can easily be misconstrued and used against him.
In our practice, it is very common for spouses to have long, drawn-out conversations with police officers during an investigation. This often occurs because the spouse may believe he can talk his way out of the situation by “clearing up a misunderstanding”. Even worse, we have seen spouses argue aggressively with officers- which only escalates the situation.
Unfortunately, if your significant other is suspected of a crime by law enforcement, there is almost nothing he can say that will get him “off the hook”. That is why we highly recommend that you encourage your spouse to exercise his right to be silent as soon as possible. Even if a police officer is being friendly, the first thing your husband should do is politely say, “officer, I would like to exercise my 5th amendment right to be silent”.
By law, officers must respect your husband’s decision and cannot compel him to speak any further. If the officer does, then the officer would have violated your spouse’s rights which can significantly help his case in court. We will address this point further later in the article.
Step 2: Post Bail to Get Him Out of Jail
There are several reasons why you would want your spouse out of jail as soon as possible. Even if you are upset and want him to stay in jail to “learn his lesson”, such a decision could be detrimental to your husband’s case.
One of the main reasons why it is important to get your husband out of jail is because everything in there is constantly being recorded. The more incriminating evidence that prosecutors obtain against your spouse, the tougher it becomes to win your husband’s case.
Even if you go to visit your significant other while he is in jail, make sure you do not discuss any of the facts of the case with him. Doing so could jeopardize the case and the phone call could be admitted as evidence against him. We recommend that you two only talk about everyday things that would cheer you both up such as your kids, an upcoming vacation, or anything positive about your day.
Next, if possible, post bail so that your husband can get out of jail right away. For some offenses, such as domestic violence, your significant other may not qualify to get out of jail immediately. In that case, he may need to appear before a judge before being allowed to post bail.
Also, keep in mind that the money you pay in bail does not “go down the drain”. The money goes into paying the court costs for your husband’s case. The price of bail varies depending on the nature of your husband’s offense and how much of a risk the judge deems your spouse is to society. If you cannot afford to pay the bail, you can hire a bondsman to pay the amount in full in exchange for a 10% fee based on the bond amount.
Just keep in mind that after you hire a bondsman, he will be responsible for ensuring that your husband shows up to court and eventually repays the bond in full. If your spouse fails to do so, the bondsman will have the authority to apprehend your husband and give him up to the authorities.
Step 3: Hire a Defense Attorney to Fight Your Spouse’s Case
This step is also very crucial to take as soon as possible. There are many reasons why you would not want to leave the fate of your spouse’s case in the hands of a public defender. One of the main reasons is because a private attorney can take many proactive actions in the very beginning of your husband’s case.
The first 30-40 days of a criminal case is known as the “pre-filing” stage. In this time period, charges have not been formally filed against your husband. What has happened is that the police created a report and sent it to the state’s office. The state then reviews the report and determines the crimes they would like to prosecute your husband for.
In certain situations where there is either clear evidence of your husband’s innocence or gross violation of his rights, a case can be dismissed immediately. A private attorney can bring forth this information to prosecutors and pressure them to drop the case.
A public defender, on the other hand, would mainly represent your husband once he is set for trial. This is most likely not in your best interest especially if it is possible to put an end to your nightmare immediately.
There are many ways your husband’s case can be resolved without ever having to go to trial. Even if his case is not dropped within the pre-filing stage, his case can still be won during the pre-trial phase. Private defense attorneys can work on several mitigation strategies to improve your spouse’s case and negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the charges to a more favorable resolution.
Finding the right attorney to represent you can be difficult. Unfortunately, many lawyers have a reputation for being unethical and deceptive. If you need help finding an ethical attorney to represent you in your matter, you can click the button below to learn more about how to spot red flags when speaking with a lawyer.
Step 4: Reclaim Your Life as Your Attorney Fights Your Case
Once you find an attorney to represent your spouse in his case, the next thing you should do is re-establish a sense of normalcy in your life.
Your attorney can have your husband sign what is known as a “waiver of appearance”, which is a document that allows an attorney to represent your husband at court on his behalf. This is great news for your spouse because doing so will allow him to continue working or spending time at home without worrying about creating time to make multiple court appearances.
If your spouse does not sign a waiver of appearance, he could be required to show up over a dozen times to court for his case. The more time your husband spends working on his case, the more difficult it will be to reclaim a sense of normalcy in your life. Some cases take months or years to resolve, so it is in your husband’s best interest to have his attorney go to court on his behalf.
Your spouse’s case can conclude in two different ways. The case can either resolve pre-trial in negotiations with state prosecutors or at trial before a jury. Depending on the type of case, there are times it is in your husband’s best interest to settle the matter outside of a trial. There are many variables that you do not have control over at a trial and there is also an increased risk that your husband may receive a higher sentencing.
However, in other cases, it may be in your interest to go to trial if prosecutors are inflexible in negotiation and if your husband’s defense attorney has a strong strategy of attack in place. Your husband’s defense attorney has much say in picking the jury and many times an empathetic jury will deliver a “not guilty” verdict at the end of the trial.
Although it is incredible to receive a great outcome at trial, it would still be at the end of a long and challenging road. Each situation is different and many things change on a case-by-case basis. That is why it is very important to find an honest and ethical defense attorney to defend your husband in his legal situation.