Dallas Public Defender’s handle more than 30,000 cases each year for people who cannot afford cash bail or a private attorney. For many of these individuals, there’s an additional cost to all of this, and it comes in the form of their jobs.
Some get terminated while others lose standing with their employers and are forced to quit because they don’t get as many hours. From there, traditional work is hard to come by. But there is a way to hold on to a relationship with your employer, and in this article, we explain how.
1. Don’t panic – keep a clear head and stay calm
Emotions come pouring in after you’ve been arrested. Hopefully, it’s an experience you’ll never have to know about. But if you’re here, either you’ve been there or you have a loved one going through it now.
You replay what led you to this point. Wonder how you’re going to explain it to the people who matter to you. And yes, you wonder how you’re going to stay employed once your boss finds out everything. Even if you’re completely innocent, perception is reality.
If people perceive you’re guilty, then that means you’re guilty. Innocent or not. And when those “people” sign your paycheck, look out!
Stop right there. The sun is going to rise and fall. You’re going to get up tomorrow, and life will go on. Avoid the worst-case scenario mindset. You can get through this if you keep a cool head. Slow time. Let each breath be all that matters, and make it as successful as possible.
2. Contact an attorney as soon as possible
Getting out of jail should be your first priority. However, a close second should be deciding on your legal defense. There are two options when it comes to this. You can either hire a private attorney or you can wait until after the arraignment and get assigned one by the court.
The first option may be more expensive, but it’s also less stressful. After all, you’ve just been arrested and are in an emotionally vulnerable state. It’s easier to work with someone who understands your situation than try to make sense of the court-assigned lawyer’s unfamiliar jargon.
Either way, be sure to contact an attorney ASAP. They’ll be able to explain your rights and guide you through this difficult time so you can focus on getting back to your job and your daily routines. Stay calm and remember that you still have options.
3. Cooperate with law enforcement officials
There’s nothing to be gained by stoking a confrontation. Any overt hostility, be it taking to social media or calling and leaving nasty messages, can only work against you. It doesn’t matter if you feel you’re being unfairly treated. That’s what your day in court is for.
Save your aggression for a healthy defense. Otherwise, those Facebook screenshots and recorded phone lines are going to come back to haunt you. And it may be sooner rather than later. That’s because you’re likely social media friends or in some other form of close contact to fellow co-workers. All it takes is one mentioning what you’re doing to your boss.
Most employers will get spooked having someone of that nature working for them. From there, it becomes very easy to justify your termination.
4. Don’t talk to the media or anyone else about your arrest without an attorney present
There’s little to be gained by talking about your case with anyone but your attorney. Talking to the media only runs the risk of incriminating yourself. You never know who’s going to be recording the conversation or how it will be twisted later on. Even if you think you’re helping your case, it’s best to let your lawyer do the talking.
Furthermore, talking to people you think you can trust or to whom you think have no reason to talk about your case could result in third-party information being used to help the prosecution.
Work-wise? That old saying, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”? Tell that to your boss when someone connects your case to their business.
5. Be prepared for your arraignment
Get access to a copy of your police report. Know what charges you’ll be facing. Convene with your attorney to decide what the least damaging course of action will be. If the evidence is on your side, then fight the charges. If it’s not, consider a plea deal. Have a good idea of which course you’ll take before your arraignment.
That way, you can explain things to your employer and make as many arrangements as possible to stay in good standing with your shifts and your job as a whole.
6. Respect the court process and COMMUNICATE!
That means making all your court dates. It also means keeping the conditions of your release. No effort that you put forth with your employer will help if you’re violating the court’s demands in the process. For this, a little communication with both parties goes a long way.
Some things to say to your boss might include, “Look, I made a mistake, but I’m determined to do everything in my power to do what the court expects of me and meet my obligations here. And if I can’t, then I promise to communicate in advance of any potential conflicts.”
Most employers will be grateful and willing to work with you provided the crimes are not too serious. (Then, if they are, it might be difficult to procure bail in the first place.)
Worried About Your Job Prospects After Getting Arrested?
Concern is understandable. There’s still a stigma that goes with being arrested. But you can push back against it without it affecting your work. It starts with securing bail and then committing to the steps listed above. Need help with those next steps?
Delta Bail Bonds believes in being there for our clients every step of the way. Contact us today, and get an advocate in your corner who can help guide you through arrest, bail, and what comes next. Contact us today!