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Arizona Bail, Bonds, and Hearings – How The Process Works

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In Arizona, the nature of the alleged crime and one’s prior record play pivotal roles in determining their bail status.

Upon release on bail, it’s essential to understand that one’s liberty is not absolute. In line with ensuring public safety and your attendance at trial, the judge sets specific terms that you must adhere to.

Every bail condition is tailored to the nuances of an individual’s situation.

For example, if one is detained for drug possession, the bail might stipulate abstention from drugs and avoiding locations or individuals involved in drug activity.

Breaching these guidelines can jeopardize your freedom, potentially landing you back in custody until the conclusion of the trial.

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Arizona Bail, Bonds, and Hearings – How The Process Works

Navigating the Options for Release in Arizona

Upon arrest in Arizona, there are primarily four release avenues a judge might contemplate:

  • Recognizance Release: Individuals can depart to attend upcoming court proceedings based on their assurance. This is generally an option for those with a commendable history of court appearances or first-time offenders charged with minor offenses.
  • Bond: A monetary assurance might be demanded to secure your reappearance. Failing to attend can trigger a “Bond Forfeiture Hearing,” where the state can seize the posted amount. Engaging a bail bondsman adds another layer, as they might employ recovery agents to protect their financial stakes. Conversely, honoring court appointments results in a bond refund.
  • Supervised Pretrial Release: Predominantly used for alleged felons, this method places the accused under close observation. Officials periodically ensure the individual is not reoffending and is adhering to release terms. Sometimes, electronic tracking might also be employed.
  • Third-Party Custody Release: The court might entrust the accused to a responsible third party who commits to ensure the accused’s presence during trials. This might typically involve juveniles being handed over to parental supervision.

bail bonds

The Difference Between Bail and Bonds

The fundamental distinction between bail and bond lies in the source of the payment.

The person who has been arrested, or their relatives, can directly pay the entire sum to the court for bail. This amount is returned upon the case’s conclusion, provided the accused honors all court appearances.

In contrast, with a bond, the accused pays a non-returnable fee to a bond agent, who then presents a guarantee to the court on their behalf. Moreover, the involvement of the bond agent differentiates the two.

While obtaining bail is a direct transaction with the court, securing a bond involves collaborating with a bond company. This agent takes on the potential liability should the accused not appear in court.

Understanding the Bail Bond System

Consider bail bonds a blend between a safety net and a financial agreement.

A bail bond represents a commitment to the judiciary: if the accused fails to attend court, the bond agent guarantees the total bail payment.

The bond is equivalent to the actual bail due to the bond agency’s established rapport with the judicial system.

The bond agency levies a fee typically non-refundable to facilitate this bond. This charge is often about 10% of the determined bail.

For instance, if the court sets the bail at $50,000, you might be looking at a fee of $5,000, payable via cash, card, or certified checks.

Additionally, you’ll be required to provide the bond agent with security, equating to the bail’s total value. Say you’re trying to secure a $10,000 bond; you might offer up the title of a vehicle valued at $20,000 as your collateral.

In Arizona, Which Crimes Might Prevent a Defendant from Receiving Bail? 

While most individuals undergo a bail hearing before their trial, some offenses in Arizona may prevent bail from being granted, leading to the accused remaining in custody until their trial.

As per ARS 13-3961, bail denial can occur when there’s strong evidence or significant presumption of guilt regarding:

  • Crimes punishable by the death penalty.
  • Acts of sexual violation.
  • Engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor below 15 years.
  • Inappropriately touching a child under the age of 15.
  • Committing a serious felony and reasonable suspicion of the individual’s illegal presence in the U.S.

arizona bail

How a Bail/Bond Hearing Works

After an arrest, you will meet with a judge to determine your pre-trial release’s terms and financial implications.

The conditions and bond amount hinge on the severity of the alleged wrongdoing. Once released, strict adherence to set terms is non-negotiable.

Playing by the rules and stipulations of your release terms is very important. If you are found to break any of the judge’s conditions it can result in much harsher penalties. Some of the examples of ways a person can violate their bail conditions are below:

  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Tampering with or neglecting monitoring equipment
  • Committing a new offense
  • Leaving Arizona or the country
  • Punctuality and attendance at court sessions
  • Breaching probationary terms

Repercussions of Breaching Bail Terms in Arizona

Penalties for breaching bail terms vary based on the specific condition violated. Naturally, a new crime would have more severe consequences than not appearing in court.

Generally, bond breaches initially result in its revocation.

The judge’s subsequent actions can range from the following:

  • Augmenting the bond amount, especially if the original sum was minimal.
  • Mandating more frequent court check-ins.
  • Introducing electronic monitoring if the violation involved unauthorized travel.
  • Intensifying release restrictions.
  • Imposing house arrest.
  • Requiring regular substance tests.

bail someone out of jail

How to Bail Someone Out of Jail

In Arizona, to arrange for someone’s release from jail, you have two routes to choose from: personally posting the bail or enlisting the services of a bond agency.

If you decide to post bail directly, you must know the set bail amount and the detainee’s booking reference.

How can I get this information? Simply call the jail or utilize the county jail’s online inmate lookup tool.

Head to the jail with the booking reference and the precise bail sum. Most county jails in Arizona will accept payments in cash, via money orders, or through cashier’s checks.

Are you opting for a bond agency? Begin by providing them with the detainee’s details.

They will then determine the bond value. Once you’ve settled the bond service charges and provided any necessary collateral, the bond agency will walk you through the bond conditions, clarifying what the detainee can and cannot engage in.

Understanding “Contempt of Court” in Arizona

Per Arizona Revised Statute 12-861, individuals who intentionally defy a legal order, mandate, or directive from a superior court, especially if that defiance qualifies as a criminal act, can face legal repercussions under “contempt of court.”

Common Scenarios for Contempt of Court

The term’s broad nature means that various actions could be classified as contempt.

Here are four typical scenarios:

  1. Failure to appear to a court session when mandated.
  2. Deliberately neglecting child support payments.
  3. Causing disturbances in court (like having a ringing cell phone during proceedings or while a judge is speaking).
  4. Showing disrespect towards the judiciary or the judge presiding.

Repercussions for Contempt of Court in Arizona

Upon being adjudged guilty of contempt, you could face an additional misdemeanor. Non-attendance at a court proceeding could incur a penalty of at least $500. Should the contemptuous act be related to a DUI or traffic offense, suspending your driving license might also be a potential repercussion.

Furthermore, if the contempt is linked with a felony, mainly due to non-appearance, it might attract an added felony charge. This is generally categorized as a class five felony, which usually carries a baseline sentence of 1.5 years, but can extend to 2.5 years under certain circumstances.

Contact CHM Law to Help with Bail or Bond

When facing the complexities of the Arizona bail system, having CHM Law by your side can make all the difference. From understanding the nuances of bail determinations to helping individuals source the most suitable bond options, our comprehensive approach simplifies what could otherwise be an overwhelming process.

Contact us at Colburn Hintze Maletta by dialing 602-825-2500.

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