Protesting is a fundamental right protected under the constitution’s Freedom of Assembly, and yet many today are discovering that protestors are being arrested left, right, and center. Many of these protestors will have done nothing wrong, except to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and arrested as a bullying tactic. In most cases, this tactic is what can transform a peaceful protest into a violent riot.
The outcome of the protest, however, does not matter. What does matter is that you help your loved one get through the experience both emotionally and legally. No one should be arrested for peacefully protesting, but if they are, these steps will help them through it:
Help Them Know Their Rights
A lot of protestors were arrested recently, and many will find they were not given the due process that they have a legal right to. For example, if you were arrested and held, but were not read your Miranda rights, then whatever charge they are holding you for is void. Staying silent, using their right to public defense, and not falling for any coerced tactics (drinking water provided, for example) are some of the smartest moves you can make.
Wait for the Arraignment
In most cases, you will need for your loved one to receive their arraignment. This is where their charges are read out to them and where they have the option to plead guilty or not. If they are not guilty, bail will be set.
Get Them Bail
The concept of bail is very simple. It is a monetary amount that the defendant must pay in order to be released from custody. The bail is held, not cashed or otherwise lost. You get it back when you have successfully attended all and any of your court dates. It is simply an incentive to go to court and to not attempt to flee.
If your loved one was awarded bail, then your next move will be to find your local bail bonds agent. You will want to look as local as possible, so a case in Volusia county, Florida, for example, will ideally need bail bonds in Volusia county.
You can get their bail bond by simply filling out some paperwork. Once this is done, an agent will go to the court with the bail bond and your loved one will be released. Just make sure they also go to their bonds agency to finish up some paperwork and that they attend all their court dates.
Help Them Continue the Fight
Being imprisoned can be incredibly stressful, even if nothing of note occurs. By providing them support — both physical and emotional — you can help them shake off that experience and continue to support the cause that they believe in so passionately. If they were mistreated, then getting that story out there is the best way to help reduce the chance that anyone else has to go through the same experience.
Your loved one will still need to go to all of the court dates and follow the law, but with your support they can continue their fight to change the system for the better.