Contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can visit your loved one in the police station, advise them not to talk to police and notify the police that they are represented by an attorney and will not answer questions. Timely intervention can help prevent your loved one from caving into police pressure and providing the evidence needed for a conviction.

In Illinois, if your loved one has been picked up for a relatively minor offense and has a clean record, they may be eligible for an I-Bond. That means they can leave the police station on their personal promise that they will appear in Court.

If the situation is more serious, your loved one may be held over for a bond hearing until the earliest possible court business date. At the hearing, a judge will decide how much money a criminal defendant must post in order to be released from police custody. If your loved one had the bad fortune to be picked up on a Friday night, they may have to spend the weekend in jail.

An attorney can also play an important role at the bond hearing.  At the hearing, the State will likely argue that a high bond should be set. Your loved one will have to post 10% of any bond that the judge sets in order to be released. The bond may be set so high that your loved one has no hope of making it and must then remain in jail. An experienced attorney may be able to assess which arguments are most likely to sway a particular judge to lower the bond.