Steps to Follow if Someone You Love is Arrested by Federal Agents
One of the scariest moments in life may possibly be when federal agents show up at your door to arrest someone you love. It can be quite an emotional experience. The knocking on the door alone may be loud enough to inform everyone in the neighborhood just what is taking place. The agents may even bust through the door if you do not answer it quickly enough. These are all real possibilities when someone you love is arrested by federal agents. They can come in and take the person that you care about, all with little explanation. You will be left at a loss to even determine what to do next. That is why it is important to have these steps in mind in case someone that you love is arrested and taken away by federal agents.
The Initial Court Hearing
As soon as the shock of the arrest wears off, you should be aware that the next step is for your loved one to appear before a federal judge. This is a court proceeding that serves as the initial appearance for the individual who has just been arrested. It is at this appearance that everyone involved will find out just what the charges are and how they came about. It is also during this time that any rights that the arrested person has will be dictated to them and what, if any, possibility there is of being released pending trial. If the person is released, this initial court appearance will also dictate the terms of that release.
This is a lot to take in, and you are probably wondering how you will even find out where the hearing will take place. Since this all has come as a shock to you, the chances of you even knowing where your loved one has been taken is rather slim. If you are lucky, the agent that made the arrest will quickly inform you of the charges and where the court appearance will take place. If you were given that information, you can likely find the court online via an Internet search. This will be the courthouse that you need to contact. You can then call them and ask to be connected to the pretrial services office. Tell them the person’s name who was arrested and inquire when the court hearing is. If you call too quickly, they may not yet know. If so, give them a few hours and then try back again.
Retain an Attorney
As soon as you are secure in the knowledge of where your loved one is being held and when the initial court appearance will be, you will need to get them a lawyer. You will want to retain a lawyer that is familiar with federal law and who will represent your loved one at their initial court appearance. Your goal is to get the person out of jail and back home with you as quickly as possible. A lawyer can help make that happen, especially if your loved one has no prior criminal record. If you are unable to get a lawyer hired in time, a judge will ensure that someone from the federal public defender’s pool is there for the first court hearing. This is not a bad idea, particularly if you are unable to get your own lawyer there quickly enough. You can always go back after the hearing and hire an attorney of your own choosing.
Attend the Hearing
You will likely want to be there with your loved one at the initial court hearing. Make sure that you leave your home or office in plenty of time. When you arrive, you will want to check in with the office and see if there are any questions that you can help answer in order to assist your loved one in getting released. After the hearing, the hope is that you can both return home together. If that is not possible, make sure that you ask where the person is going to be held and have your attorney meet them there to start work on the defense.
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