You've just received terrible news. Your husband or boyfriend has been arrested and is being detained at the Los Angeles Men's Central Jail on federal criminal charges. Once the initial shock of the news has passed, you're probably going to experience confusion, anger, fear, and even dread. Federal crimes can result in long, complicated trials, not to mention serious fines and prison time if convicted. What will become of your loved one—and your family? What can you do to help your boyfriend or spouse?
Unless you're a licensed attorney practicing criminal law, there's probably not much you can do directly to intervene. However, what you do (or don't do) can have an impact on the case, for better or worse, especially since the odds are high that you'll be summoned as a witness. Let's look at some practical ways you can help your loved one in this situation.
Don't Engage the Agents
During a federal criminal investigation, you're likely to be contacted by federal agents asking questions about the case. Your impulse may be to speak out in your husband's or boyfriend's defense, but remember that anything you say to them could be used against your loved one—and possibly even be used to implicate you, as well. Don't answer their questions—instead, politely inform them that you need your attorney to be present before discussing the case with them. That is your right.
Gather Evidence and Information
With your loved one in jail, he won't be able to act on his behalf until his release—so you can act as the “boots on the ground” for him. Begin right now to gather as much documentation as possible to help his attorney build a case. Begin with paperwork left by the agents or law enforcement at the time of the arrest, then gather any other relevant paperwork you can think of. Write down a detailed account of what you heard and saw happen, especially if you were there when the arrest took place, so that you can recall these details later and your story can remain consistent.
Contact a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
Time is of the essence for your husband or boyfriend. Not only does he need immediate help procuring a pre-trial release after the arrest, but chances are federal agents have already got a several-month head start gathering evidence before the arrest was even made. To ensure your spouse's rights are protected, contact an attorney with specific experience and concentration on federal criminal defense. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the better the chances are for your husband or boyfriend to get a more favorable outcome and possibly avoid prison time.
The attorneys at the Sigal Law Group have an excellent track record defending people charged with federal crimes in the Los Angeles area. We know the conditions and situation at the Los Angeles Men's Central Jail, and we have experience with federal prosecutors and judges who handle these cases. If someone you love has been detained on federal charges, we'll work quickly and aggressively to get them the legal help they need. Call us today at (818) 325-0570 for a free consultation.