Unfortunately, if a super fun vacation gets out of control, you can find yourself handcuffed and arrested. If that happens, keep in mind that you are not the only one – plenty of people get arrested in the middle of their vacations. However, to minimize disruption to your life, you should keep these tips in mind:
1. Hire an attorney before your arraignment
In most cases, the morning after your arrest, you go to an arraignment hearing. There, the judge sets your bail and determines when you have to return for your trial. In some cases, the arraignment is skipped, and the arrested individual is released after paying a certain amount of money as determined by a bail schedule.
If you have to attend an arraignment, try to hire an attorney first. Look for a local attorney that specializes in tourist-related arrests. These professionals can help argue your case, and in particular, they can work to ensure that you can leave the state to return home, and they can try to get you out of the requirement of attending a trial.
2. Try to get out on your own recognizance
In some cases, you don't have to pay bail. Instead, you can get out on your own recognizance, or OR. Ask your attorney to help you get out on your own recognizance.
Bails is often set based on your likelihood of returning for your trial – the more likely you are to return, the more likely you are to be released on your own recognizance.
Some of the points that can improve your chances for an OR release include having a job, having no past record or having shown up for all of your trials if you do have a past record.
3. Don't forget about bail bondsmen
If you are assigned bail, it can be scary. At home, you can likely just call a friend or relative to help bail you out, but on vacation, you may have no one to whom you can turn.
Luckily, there are bondsmen just for this purpose. You simply contact the bondsmen from a company like All Star Bail Bonds, and you make a small payment in cash or on a credit card to the bondsmen. That payment is usually a small percentage of your total bail amount, and once the bondsmen receives the payment, they post the rest of the bail for you.
If your credit cards and wallet have been confiscated by the police, that's not a problem. You just sign over or release your cards to the bondsmen, and they use it to pay for your payment.
4. Follow all of the conditions of your release
Whether you are released on OR or through the help of a bondsmen, you must take care to follow all of the conditions of your bail. The conditions of your release vary based on your situation, so make sure you fully understand the conditions you have to follow.
In all cases, you should avoid breaking other laws. Don't drink and drive or purchase illegal drugs. Also, make sure you know if you are allowed to leave the state. If you leave the state and you are not supposed to, for example, you may be charged with additional penalties. However, a competent attorney can usually explain to the courts why you need to go home after being arrested on a vacation.
5. Contact your employer
Being arrested can be extremely embarrassing, and if you are arrested somewhere like Vegas, you may want your arrest to "stay in Vegas" with all of the other things that happened there. With the help of a competent attorney and a bondsmen who gets you out of jail quickly, you may be able to avoid even telling your employer about your arrest (as long as it's not relevant to your job).
However, if you are delayed returning home or if you are stuck in a vacation area indefinitely as you wait for your trial, you may need to contact your employer. Be as professional as possible, and try to create an arrangement so that you do not lose your job from unexcused absences. For example, some employers allow their employees to take unpaid personal days after an arrest.
Getting arrested on vacation is the last thing you want to have happen, but you don't have to panic if it does. These tips can help you handle the situation and resolve it as easily and quickly as possible.