Local attorney develops application to help newly detained

Local+attorney+develops+application+to+help+newly+detained

Alyssa Locklar

A Tuscaloosa attorney has developed a smartphone app to keep people from stressing about whom they ought to contact with their one call from a jailhouse.

The application, called Busted, allows you to enter your preferred attorney, bail bondsman and three emergency contacts and will notify them of your location and arrest at the push of a button.

“We came into a meeting and were discussing my website and how we could make it more interactive,” said Jason Neff, a Tuscaloosa attorney. “I really wanted my DUI clients to be able to get in touch with me quickly because it’s a stressful time and there is already so much going on. Then we came up with the idea of an app where our clients could push a button and send us a text or email if they needed to notify us. It’s not just my app, but it’s nationwide at this point.”

Neff explained that Busted has already exceeded his expectations. The application, which is available on both the Android and iPhone, has already had about two thousand downloads nationwide.

“We have had a really great response, especially out in California and New York,” Neff said. “It just so happened that we launched very close to the peak of the Wall Street sit-ins and a lot of people began to download it.”

In addition to the application’s ability to store phone numbers for your preferred contacts, Busted has a GPS feature capable of determining your exact location at the time of your arrest.

“Everybody thinks it’s really cool,” Neff said. “The one thing I will say is what a great response I got from my clients’ parents. We show our clients the app and give them the option. The parents love knowing what’s going on with their children and that they will have help with the push of a button. It also has a function that shows us the GPS coordinates in case they get in trouble or kidnapped. Also, if the case goes to court, I can go back to the exact location and take photographs.”

Austin Haskew, an Aeron Agency programmer, felt the GPS feature was the most impressive and valuable part of Busted.

“I think the best part about it is that it lets everyone know where you are,” Haskew said. “If you are out of town, it notifies local bail bondsman and lets your contacts know where you are so they know the best way they can help. If you are from Tuscaloosa but you get arrested in New Orleans, contacting a bail bondsman in Tuscaloosa wouldn’t help anything.

“I personally built the Android version of Busted. The first thing we do is come up with an idea, and then, we basically figure out what all we want it to do and how to make it happen. The hardest part is sitting down and planning it all out.”

Even if people think they have no need for the application, Haskew says it is better to be safe than sorry.

“I definitely have it on my phone,” Haskew said. “No one ever plans on getting arrested, at least I hope not, but it does happen from time to time. And when it happens it is better to be prepared than to not be prepared.”