What To Do If Arrested
Do not make a statement to the police. While all of us have seen and heard this advice all our lives – I have seen so many cases where smart people decided to talk to investigating officers thinking they would help themselves. Too late they learn their statement was what the DA needed to convict them. Always be respectful – but firm: you can explain to the officers that you look forward to talking to them after you speak with your attorney.
Remember too that phone calls from the jail are routinely tape recorded by the Sheriff. Jail visits with friends are conducted over phones and those too are routinely tape-recorded by the Sheriff. PEOPLE IN CUSTODY SHOULD NEVER DISCUSS WITH ANYONE, OTHER THAN THEIR ATTORNEY, THE FACTS OF THEIR CASE. Occasionally an inmate will “snitch off” another inmate in hopes of making a deal with the DA. Sometimes even a small amount of information is enough to give a snitch enough to sound credible when making up a “jail house confession.”
Sometimes police ask the person arrested to “cooperate” and help them “bust” someone else. From my perspective, this is a terrible choice – it nearly always works out badly for the informant. Informants are known as “snitches.” Obviously, they are unpopular folks – in jail they are often attacked if left in the general population. Police frequently promise more than they can or will deliver to snitches. Sometimes they promise not to file the snitches’ case or to keep their identity secret. There are many ways the identity of a snitch can come out. I do not represent snitches. Do not call me if you want to work with the police as an informant.
How To Bail Out Of Jail
Most people arrested are released on “OR” (“own recognizance”). This means they are not considered a danger to the community or a flight risk. If bail is required, then there are three principal ways to get out of jail:
The entire amount may be posted which is then returned after the case is concluded. (Frequently bail will be returned earlier once the Judge is satisfied the defendant will come to court);
A bail bondsman will post the full amount after he or she is paid their fee and given collateral for the full amount. The fee is often 10% of the bail amount and that is not returned to the defendant (Note that this percentage can be negotiated!);
A property bond is posted. This requires that real property worth twice the bail be transferred to the county as collateral for the bail. This third method is somewhat rare and can take time because of the need for property value assessing, but useful in high bail cases.