If a friend or family member has ever been arrested, then you probably know how stressful the experience can be. Along with worrying about your loved one’s safety and future, you may be wondering how best to get them out of custody. To be released from jail in Arizona, a person must be processed at the county jail. Additionally, someone has to post their bail. Keep reading to learn more about bail and find out how to bail someone out of jail in Arizona.
Understanding How Bail Works
Bail is an amount of money that allows a defendant to go home instead of waiting in prison until the judge rules on their case. By asking defendants to pledge a certain sum, the courts can ensure that they will show up for any hearings, appearances, and trials. While the Constitution prohibits courts from levying excessive bail on defendants, some crimes result in a higher bail cost than others. Here are some of the factors that determine the method of release and bail value for cases in the state of Arizona:
- Type of crime / circumstances of crime
- The amount of evidence that exists
- Whether the defendant has family or career ties
- The defendant’s mental condition and character
- Whether drugs are involved
- How long the defendant has lived in the community
- Whether the defendant has a criminal record or history of failing to appear in court
- Whether the defendant is a legal U.S. resident
In some cases, the judge may decide not to set bail. Generally, the court denies bail when there’s “probable cause” that a defendant has committed a serious felony or because they pose a danger to the victim or other members of the community. In these cases, the judge will set a bail eligibility hearing in a superior court.
Consequences of Skipping Bail in Arizona
Skipping or jumping bail comes with serious consequences. If a defendant who has been released on bail neglects to appear at a scheduled court proceeding, they will lose whatever amount of bail money they paid. Additionally, the court will issue a warrant for anyone who doesn’t appear. They may also have to face an additional criminal charge of “failure to appear.”
Types of Bail in Arizona
If you or a loved one commits a crime in Arizona, you may be offered one of the following types of bail:
Own Recognizance Release – For smaller crimes and misdemeanors, the jail may opt to release defendants on their Own Recognizance (OR). This bail option indicates that the judge believes an individual poses a low risk to the community and is likely to appear in court. While defendants don’t have to pay a fee for bail in OR cases, they do need to sign documents promising to show up for appearances and abide by any other standards set by the court.
Cash Bail – When the court sets cash bail, a defendant has to pay a set amount of money to be released. Assuming you appear in court as ordered, you will receive the amount you paid back, minus any administrative fees associated with the case.
Arizona Pre-Trial Services – In some cases, the judge will release a defendant without bail. However, the individual in question may have to abide by other stipulations, such as wearing a GPS tracker, attending rehab, or submitting to regular drug testing.
Third-Party Release – Depending on the severity of the crime in question, a judge may opt to release a defendant to a Third Party. Typically a family member or loved one, this person is responsible for ensuring the defendant appears in court as scheduled. Third-Party Release is most common in situations where the defendant has a clean record or the crime is relatively minor.
Understanding Bail Bonds
Depending on the case, the cost of bail can be significant. Fortunately, options exist for individuals who can’t afford to pay the whole sum. A defendant’s friends or family members can work with a bail bondsman to get their loved one out of jail. In Arizona, you generally have to pay a 10 percent bail bond fee for all bonds written by a bondsman. However, exceptions may exist for low-income individuals and those accused of committing smaller crimes.
It’s important to note that the bail bond fee is non-negotiable and non-refundable. So, even if the charges against a defendant are dismissed, this cost won’t be returned to you. Additionally, defendants need to provide collateral to cover the remainder of their bail amount. Bail collateral may include money, property, cars, and more. In the event that an individual fails to show up for a court hearing, they will lose the collateral they put up.
Posting Bail in Arizona
Posting bail in Arizona is a relatively simple matter. After the judge has set bail, simply call the county jail’s hotline to obtain the inmate’s booking number. You will likely need to supply the name and birthdate of the individual in question to get this information.
Once you know the bail amount and booking number, you can visit the jail to make your payment. Accepted forms include USPS money order, Western Union money order, or cashier’s check. When you arrive at the jail, be prepared to show the clerk your driver’s license and provide your completed request form. Note that the court will run your license number when you post bail for a loved one. So, if you have any outstanding warrants or offenses, you could find yourself under arrest, too. For this reason, it’s best to make sure your record is clear prior to posting bail.
Get Help With Bail Proceedings
There’s nothing more important than your future and the future of your loved ones. With that in mind, the criminal defense attorneys here at JacksonWhite Law will work hard to defend you. Regardless of the charges you’re facing, we’re here to help you get out on bail and achieve the best possible outcome.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.