You got arrested, and you were sitting in jail until a loved one paid for a type of surety bond, called a bail bond, to get you out. Sure, you feel a little down, but you must get busy preparing. Go to court ready to make a good impression carrying all the pertinent documentation you may need. Here is how.
Understand the Complaint Against You
Take with you a copy of your original complaint. Your judge will be looking at this same document during your court session, and they will have questions. You will need to disprove the complaint against you. That is your number one task. If you do not have your original complaint, get a copy of it from the court clerk a couple of days before your court date.
Ask yourself — what documents do I need to prove my innocence? Where are they, and what do I need to do to get my hands on them?
Gather Any Pertinent Paper Documents
Was it a domestic dispute, or maybe it was non-payment of child support? Are you accused of extortion? Was it a set-up? Are you innocent of this crime? How will you prove that you are not guilty of this crime? Are there contracts, written estimates, checks, letters, or emails? Get your hands on these documents.
Gather Any Other Pertinent Documentation
You will need copies of anything substantial, anything the judge can put his hands on and read, or examine, for court. There is more, though than just what we've discussed. Text messages, photos, and videos are good documentation (proof), too, but will have to be authenticated.
With text messages, you will need to get printouts from your phone carrier. With photos, you will need printouts with a time and date stamp. Videos can also be authenticated.
Get Your Documentation Ready for Trial
You have gathered your documentation. Here are a few tips for making final preparations to face the judge.
- Place your documents in a latching folder, so that they do not fall out easily on the way to court. If you have video, use a three-ring binder with an insert that holds discs. These are usually large enough to slide your folder into, and they zip closed.
- Remember to take three copies of everything, even three video copies. You should keep all the originals, though, unless asked otherwise by the judge.
- Use colored Post-It tabs to label documents, so you can keep them straight.
- Use paper clips to keep related documents together.
At Free at Last Bail Bonds, we understand the importance and urgency of reuniting families. If you or a loved one needs our services, we are here for you 24 hours a day at 404-577-2245.