If you're arrested and taken to jail, you may be frightened and worried about your future. No one is ever prepared to go to jail, and it can be hard to know what to do in this situation. Here are three steps you should take if you find yourself in jail:
1. Contact a trusted person.
The first thing you should do once you're offered the opportunity to make a phone call is to contact a friend or family member that you trust. This person can help you take care of certain things while you're unable to do so. For instance, if you're scheduled to work before you think you will get out of jail, ask your trusted person to contact your boss to inform them of your absence. This can help you avoid more trouble once you're released. It's a good idea to memorize this person's phone number ahead of time since you won't be able to access your cell phone in jail.
2. Be civil.
When you're in holding cell waiting for your bail hearing, it's likely you'll be there with other people who were arrested. Be polite to everyone around you, since you may be stuck with them for a while. You don't have to become best friends or have a long conversation, but be friendly and polite. That goes for the police officers too. Make sure you're polite to the police, since being rude may get you into bigger trouble.
3. Contact a bail bondsman.
Depending on state laws, you may be entitled to more than one phone call. Once you find out your bail amount from your hearing, contact a bail bond service. Bail is a sum of money that you pay to secure your release from prison, and it's held by the court to ensure that you show up for your court date. In most states, bail must be paid in cash, and it's unlikely that you have enough money on you in jail. A bail bondsman can post bail on your behalf, in exchange for a fee and collateral. Since a bail bond is a loan, you may need a friend or family member to cosign your bail bond.
Going to jail isn't anybody's first choice, but it doesn't have to be a terrible experience. Following these tips can help you get out of jail as quickly as possible so you can get back to your normal life. Remember to stay calm and reach out to help if you're arrested.