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What To Do First If a Loved One Is Arrested by Federal Agents

What To Do First If a Loved One Is Arrested by Federal Agents
Seeing a parent, sibling or spouse taken into custody by federal authorities may be an unsettling experience. This may be especially true if you had no idea that this person was wanted by the government. However, the first steps that you take after your family member is apprehended may play a key role in determining whether this person obtains a favorable outcome in his or her case. In some cases, they may also keep you from becoming a person of interest in the investigation against your parent or spouse.

Do Not Talk to Authorities Before Hiring an Attorney

Typically, government agents are going to want to speak to anyone who has a close relationship with a person who they have just taken into custody. Therefore, you should expect to hear from federal authorities by mail, by phone or in person. However, it’s important to note that you’re not required to speak to them at any point during the investigation.

If you choose to do so, it’s critical to have an attorney present during any conversation that you have with the government. This is because the individual who you speak with is trained to get the answers that they want or need to help build their case. Therefore, you may accidentally incriminate your family member without even realizing it.

In fact, you may even incriminate yourself without realizing it. An attorney will make sure that you don’t say or do anything that could make it harder to help yourself or your loved one going forward.

Preserve Any Documents Related to the Case

There is a chance that you could be connected to a case even if you played no role in helping your loved one commit a crime. For instance, your father may have used his position at your company to launder money that was used by a drug cartel. In such a scenario, your first instinct may be to destroy any evidence of your father’s involvement in such a scheme.

You may also be tempted to destroy evidence that you think could make it look like you had something to do with this person’s criminal enterprise. However, this is the biggest mistake that you could make. At a minimum, you will likely be charged with obstruction of justice or related crimes.

Furthermore, the fact that you got rid of evidence could suggest that you are trying to cover something up. As you may have heard before, covering something up is generally perceived to be worse than any crime that you might have committed.

If you have an attorney, he or she will likely advise you to preserve any records that might be of interest to the government. This is because those records will likely be helpful to your attorney as this person develops a legal strategy in the case.

Do What You Can to Help Manage Your Loved One’s Affairs

If your family member has children, adult dependents or pets, you should look into taking care of them. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may be a good idea to have a niece, nephew or grandchild live with you until the matter is resolved. Alternatively, you can send money, supplies or other forms of assistance to ensure that your extended family members are taken care of.

In the event that the defendant in the case is your own spouse, you should be ready to run the household on your own for several weeks or months. This may mean that you have to quit your job or work remotely to ensure that you can be there for your children.

Even if your loved one is able to make bail, there is no guarantee that he or she will have the money to pay it. Therefore, you may be asked to make the payment on this person’s behalf or put up the collateral needed to secure a bail bond from a local provider.

The arrest of a loved one could have a significant emotional and financial impact on your life. However, it’s important to react to such an incident in a calm and rational manner. Ideally, you will hire an attorney to represent your interests if you are unsure how to proceed in such a scenario.

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