If you are arrested and put in jail, one of your first concerns will likely be how long it will be until you can leave. The first step towards going home is finding out what bail is required for your case. In the state of Arizona, you are entitled by law to have what is called an “initial appearance” in front of a judge within 24 hours of your arrest. During this hearing, bail will be set, you may be released on your own recognizance (O.R.), or the judge will decide to hold you without bail.
Release on Your Own Recognizance in Arizona
If the judge decides to release you on your own recognizance, this means that you are being released without supervision or a requirement to pay any bail. Typically, this happens if you are considered a low flight risk and the offense isn’t considered serious. The judge will take into consideration your criminal record, any prior failures to appear in court, and your connections to the community when making the decision.
When Bail Is Set in Arizona
However, if the charges are considered serious or the judge believes you might be a flight risk, then this is when your bail amount will be set. Although there are standard amounts of bail for different crimes, ultimately it is up to the judge’s discretion as to what the amount will be.
You may have the chance to ask a bail commissioner at your arraignment that the bail be reduced depending on the location of your arrest. If you want to make this request, then you should be prepared with reasons why they should do so. An experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer can assist you in making a case for a lower bail amount. This can include focusing on your ties to the community and your financial inability to raise the amount of money. Some ties to the community that it can be good to show include the fact that you have a job, you have a family (such as a spouse, children, or parents) living in the community, the length of time you’ve resided in the area, a lack of a criminal record, or previous court appearances when accused of crimes.
Being Held on No Bail in Arizona
In rare cases, the judge will hold you without bail. For example, if you are believed to be a very high flight risk or the crime you are being accused of is incredibly serious, then you may have to remain in confinement throughout your trial. In this situation, it is possible to contest the judge’s decision and be released on bail at a later date, but you will need the help of an experienced Arizona criminal attorney to make the case for you.
Other Conditions for Bail
Your bail can be revoked, and you can be arrested again and returned to jail if you do not comply with the conditions of release set out for your bail. Common bail conditions include the requirement that you “obey all laws,” or may have to do with the specific crime that you are accused of committing. For example, if you are a suspect in a domestic violence case, then you may be required not to contact the complaining witness.
Hire an Arizona Criminal Attorney as Soon as Possible
Under the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, the federal government is prohibited from imposing excessive bail. Know your rights. Remain silent, and ask to contact your lawyer as soon as possible. Having professional legal assistance this early in the process is your best bet at being released from jail on reasonable bail or of your own recognizance. Additionally, it will help increase your chances of a positive outcome during your trial since the lawyer can protect your rights from the beginning and start to investigate the matter promptly.
If you are released, it is important that you appear for all required court appearances. Not only can you be arrested again and end up in jail for the remainder of your trial, but you also will hurt your chances of bail if future situations arise.