It’s scary to hear a friend or relative has been arrested in Roanoke and not know where they are or what’s going on. When the police arrest someone, they take them to a local jail for booking. Your loved one waits in jail until they see a magistrate who decides whether they should be held as their case continues or released.
The best thing you can do for your loved one is to locate them and call a criminal defense lawyer on their behalf. The sooner an attorney can show up at the police station for them, the better. An attorney will strive to have them released quickly on the best possible terms.
If your friend or loved one was arrested in Roanoke or a neighboring county, Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico is here to help. Call us at (540) 343-9349 to get started. Initial consultations are free and confidential.
Step One: Locate Your Loved One
To find out if your loved one is in custody, you can search online through the Virginia Department of Corrections’ Offender Locator. You’ll need the person’s full name.
If you don’t know where the police took your loved one, you’ll need to search several city and county jails, such as the Roanoke City Jail’s Inmate Search, the Roanoke County Jail, the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office, the Western Virginia Regional Jail, and other nearby facilities.
Many have online search functions, but you also might need to call. If the arrest was recent, your friend or relative might not be in the online system yet.
If you believe they were arrested, but aren’t currently booked into a jail, you can search the law enforcement agency’s arrest records, which should show their booking date and time, and any release date and time. Your loved one might not be in jail after an arrest if the police took them to a medical facility or handed them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Step Two: Get Your Loved One a Lawyer
Following an arrest, the officer may have taken them to jail and booked them. An officer will take their photo, fingerprint them, conduct a search of their person and things, inventory any items on their person, and fill out paperwork. An officer might question your friend or relative, and hopefully, they involve their right to remain silent.
Your loved one has the right to ask for a lawyer, but they have to state that they want a lawyer clearly and unequivocally. Once they ask for a lawyer, the police will give them an opportunity to contact one.
Most people don’t have a lawyer’s phone number memorized, so instead, they may call you. If you receive a phone call, you can find out where your loved one’s located and reach out to a defense attorney for them.
The arrestee should have the opportunity to meet with their lawyer before they go before the magistrate. Once you’ve contacted a defense attorney, the attorney can arrange a meeting at the facility.
If your loved one wasn’t able to see an attorney before their arraignment, they should listen carefully to the charges against them, plead not guilty, and talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact a Roanoke Defense Attorney Right Away
It’s hard for someone to find and contact a lawyer from jail. It might be up to you to reach out to a defense attorney for them. When you search for a lawyer to call, look for:
- Someone in your immediate area who can address the situation quickly: We serve Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, Montgomery, and Floyd Counties.
- Someone with years of experience: Michelle C.F. Derrico and Rick Derrico have over 50 years of experience.
- Someone who handles the type of offense your loved one is accused of: We handle DUIs and other alcohol crimes, offenses against the public or police, malicious wounding, burglary, breaking and entering, drug crimes, gun crimes, trespassing and property offenses, sex crimes, theft, violent crimes, traffic violations, white collar crimes, and conspiracy.
- Someone with strong results and testimonials: We have a strong track record of success—review our case results.