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What You Should Know if You or Someone You Know is Being Arrested

Posted by CTM Legal Group | Jan 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

By: Timothy Lloyd, Associate Attorney

If you or someone you know has been arrested there are a number of things that you should know.

  1. The most important thing you can do for someone when they are arrested is to get a lawyer involved right away. At CTM Legal Group, LLC, we will drive to the police station just as soon as we are hired. This is important because the arrestee might be talking to the police, providing evidence against themselves, and making the job of proving them guilty much easier. When we arrive at the police station the police are required to let the person being interrogated know that a lawyer is present for them.
  1. If you are arrested, say nothing. You must confirm your identity and comply with lawful commands of the police (like exiting your vehicle, giving ID, keeping your hands out of your pockets and the like).
  1. Anything you say will be noted in the police report. Your words can be twisted, and it can make defending you more difficult at trial. Your statements can come in as evidence against you at trial, as an admission.
  1. When asked for permission for just about anything, it means that you have the option to refuse that permission. Refuse that permission. Can I search your house? No. Can I enter your house? No. If the police have a warrant to enter they won't ask permission. Don't give permission because you want to be polite or you think it will help the person eventually.
  1. While detained the police are permitted to lie to you, to trick you, and to behave in a way that surprises many people.
  1. Following the arrest, the arrestee will be taken to the police station and booked. This process takes a decent amount of time, usually a couple of hours.
  1. Bond will be set, either at the station or by a Judge at the next available bond call. Many times a person will be release without paying any money, on what is called an I-Bond, also known as a signature bond.
  1. In Illinois, most bond is 10% of the number the Judge sets. A $3000 bond means that the bond posted will be $300 plus any administrative fees tacked on by the police department.
  1. The police stations often have a special area you go to in order to post bond. If you call ahead they will let you know where to go, and what fees they add to the bond. They do not make change.
  1. When bond is posted it is not “wasted” but you should not expect to ever get any of the money back. Clerk's offices keep 10%, and the remainder is usually consumed by fines and fees.
  1. The jail does not want to keep you or your loved one in custody. If they do, they must feed them, give them medical treatment, and they are legally responsible for the person's safety while the person is in custody.
  1. Bond can be lowered from whatever amount is initially set. This is done by filing a motion to modify bond. Witnesses can testify and other evidence can be presented to the judge to try to get the bond reduced to an amount that can be paid.
  1. Prior to the corona virus one option for any criminal defendant was to demand a speedy trial. This started a clock by the end of which the government had to have begun the trial against the defendant. If a person is in custody that limit was 120 days, if the person is out of custody that limit is 160 days. These days only count against the limit when the defendant does not agree to any delay. Currently jury trials are not able to be held. Orders have been entered temporarily suspending speedy trial rights. I believe those orders are not valid and that argument may need to be made to the appellate courts, the Illinois Supreme Court, and even the US Supreme Court.
  1. Whether the person is bonded out of jail they should NOT discuss the case with anyone who is not their lawyer. As a parent, friend, or whatever your relationship is, do not ask them about the case. If you are the person charged, don't talk about your case with anyone but your lawyer.
  1. The person arrested is likely anxious, mad, confused, stressed, and scared to various degrees. Their future is in some amount of jeopardy. They need to know that you support them, that you still love them, and that they can lean on you when the process starts to get to be too much.
  1. As a defense lawyer I have won trials where the evidence seems very strong. No matter what you read or hear about the case, don't jump to any conclusions. The initial reports often sound bad. Cases can evolve over time. Evidence that sounded rock solid might be based on the report of a drug addict with a reason to lie, the “eye witness” testimony of someone who doesn't see very well, or a search warrant that should never have been granted.

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