Getting arrested never happens at a good time. However, there are times when being charged with a criminal offense is harder than others. Being unemployed may leave you worried about the financial aspects of your arrest. You may also be put at a disadvantage for doing things such as posting bail so that you can begin to work on your case. While you have some work ahead of you, it is possible to deal with an arrest when you don’t have a job by following these simple steps.
Identify the Charges and Bail Amount
Your first step is to find out what exactly you are dealing with so that you know what to do. You should have some type of formal charges that are behind your arrest. While the court will later decide if they believe that you are guilty or innocent, you can use this information to begin to understand how much it will cost to get you out of jail. In some cases, bail is set based upon the charges, but it may also be altered depending upon your circumstances.
Get Help Paying Bail
Posting bail is a significant hurdle that you face when you are unemployed, but you still have options. Once you know the amount, you can use bail bonds to cover the amount of money that you do not have personally available. This option allows you put less money toward bail than you would if you tried to do this on your own. Be willing to get the help you need to post your bail as quickly as possible.
Seek Legal Representation
Once you post bail, you are typically released from jail shortly. This allows you to quickly get to work on preparing for your trial. If possible, you will want to seek legal representation that helps you achieve your desired outcome for your case. Criminal charges can sometimes have severe consequences such as jail time that can further make it hard to deal with your unemployment. When you search for a lawyer, be honest about your current employment status. Many lawyers have financial options that can help you still get a fair trial. You might also be able to use a court-appointed attorney depending upon the charges.
Begin a Job Search
While you are out of jail, obtaining employment helps you cover the costs of fighting your charges. It can also help to demonstrate to the court that you are taking steps to be a contributing member of society. If your unemployment is due to health concerns, then find other ways to demonstrate responsibility to the court such as by volunteering.
Being unemployed makes getting arrested even more stressful. In fact, you may be shocked and demoralized when you learn of the bail amount. By knowing how to get help with the financial aspects of your arrest, you can begin to focus on keeping yourself from going back to jail again.
Author information: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan