As a parent, there are two numbers you never want to see pop up on your caller ID: The hospital and the police station. But no matter how great of a parent you’ve been or how good your kid normally is, college and bad decision-making just seem to go together. And sometimes, one bad decision can end with a costly arrest.

If your Saturday night gets interrupted by a call from jail, don’t panic just yet. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get your child home safe and with their future intact.

Step One: Contact a Bondsman

When you get a phone call informing you that your child has been arrested, it’s only natural that you want to get them out of jail as soon as possible.

More often than not, college-age kids are arrested for misdemeanors like drug and alcohol-related crimes. This means they will have a set bail, and upon payment of that bail, they will be released to await their court date.

Bail for a misdemeanor can range anywhere from $500-$10,000 depending on the severity of the charge and your child’s criminal history. For instance, a first offense charge for public intoxication by a minor will have a much lower bail than a second-offense DUI. Paying bail will allow your child to be released after they speak with a magistrate, and the total cost will be refunded to you after your child’s successful appearance at their court date.

Can’t afford the bail? Don’t panic. Contact a bondsman in the county of your child’s arrest. In exchange for a fee of 10%, they will pay your child’s bail in full, allowing them to be released.

Step Two: Call Mark Thiessen at the Thiessen Law Firm

Let’s face it, most college kids don’t know the first thing about their rights and how to exercise them. Chances are that knowledge gap helped land them in jail in the first place. The best way to keep them from worsening an already lousy situation is to enlist the help of a lawyer as soon as possible. Having a lawyer on hand early in the process will help you move forward properly and can even help to keep your case from going to trial.

If your child goes to school in a different county or state, hiring a lawyer from that area is usually better than hiring a lawyer from your hometown. Their knowledge of the prosecutors, judges, and police in the county of arrest can help in your child’s case, and that information simply can’t be utilized in the same way by a non-hometown attorney.

Step Three: Make Sure Your Kid Follows Through

The best way to make sure your child’s promising future doesn’t get interrupted by a bad judgment call is to make sure they follow any instructions from either their lawyer or the state! The easiest way to avoid a damaging criminal record is to win your case or have your charges dropped, and failing drug tests, violating bond stipulations or getting into other trouble are surefire ways to prevent that from happening.

We’re not here to tell you how to parent, but it’s in everyone’s best interest that you make sure your child understands the severity of consequences if they don’t do what they need to do.

Houston’s Most Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney

Mark Thiessen and the team at Thiessen Law Firm are skilled trial lawyers with a strong track record of success both in and out of the courtroom. To get your child back on the right track to a bright future, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll do everything in our power to make sure that one bad decision doesn’t ruin years of working towards a bright and promising future.

Thiessen Law Firm

Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.