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How to Bail Someone Out of Jail in Arizona

Spending even a short time in jail can have serious consequences. It can disrupt a person’s ability to work, care for their family, and plan their defense strategy. Moreover, the psychological impact of being detained can be devastating and should not be underestimated. During such stressful times, understanding the bail process is crucial to getting your loved one back home where they can better prepare for their upcoming trial.

What is Bail and How is It Determined?

Bail is a set amount of money that acts as insurance between the court and the person in jail (the defendant). The defendant pays bail to be released from jail on the condition that they return for their court dates. If the defendant does not return, the bail is forfeited.

Factors That Determine Bail Amount

The bail amount is determined at the first court appearance after an arrest. Factors influencing the amount include:

  • The Severity of the Offense: More serious charges typically result in higher bail amounts. These could range from $500 for DUI and petty theft, to as high as $200,000 for illegal firearm possession.
  • Past Criminal Record: Individuals with a history of criminal activity might face higher bail amounts.
  • Flight Risk: If there’s a chance the defendant might flee, bail can be set higher to discourage them from leaving.
  • Community Connections: Strong ties to the community, like family or a steady job, might result in lower bail, as the defendant is considered less likely to flee. This explains why a homeless person could get a much higher bail amount than someone with an address. When they fail to appear in court, defendants with community connections (like a home address) are easier to find than those without them.

Types of Bond and Release Options

Depending on the alleged crime and at the judge’s discretion, different types of bonds and release options may be available.

  • Cash Bail: This is the full bail amount paid in cash or cashier’s check. This amount is returned (minus some administrative fees) if the defendant complies with all court requirements.
  • Surety Bond: Also known as a bail bond, this involves a bail bond agent who posts bail on behalf of the defendant for a fee (usually about 10% of the bail amount, which is non-refundable).
  • Property Bond: Some courts accept property as collateral to release a defendant. The court places a lien on the property to secure the bail amount.
  • Own Recognizance (O.R.): This is a release based on the defendant’s promise to return to court, with no money paid. This is common in cases involving lesser offenses with defendants who have strong community ties.
  • Pre-Trial Services: Pre-trial services (PTS) can be mandated by the court instead of setting a traditional bond. In such cases, the defendant might need to wear an electronic ankle monitor. These devices track location using GPS or monitor alcohol levels through skin perspiration with a SCRAM unit, which is often used in felony DUI cases.
  • Third-Party Release: A third-party release involves a designated individual, such as a parent, who takes responsibility for ensuring the defendant’s attendance at future court appearances. This method is used to guarantee that the defendant complies with the court’s requirements without the need for traditional bail.

Steps for Posting Bond in Arizona

To bail someone out of jail, the first step is to find out which detention facility they are in. Arizona has numerous detention centers across the state. You can locate the exact facility where your loved one is detained by using the Inmate Search feature on the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office website.

After pinpointing the facility, you should call them to learn the required bail amount, the inmate’s booking number, and any particular conditions attached to their release. Take note that certain charges or personal circumstances may make some individuals ineligible for bail.

Next, you need to choose your method of paying the bail. If you can afford it, you can pay the full amount in cash or with a cashier’s check. If not, you can opt for a property bond or get a surety bond from a bail bond agent.

The last step will be completing the paperwork and making the payment at the detention facility. After the bail or bond is posted, the defendant will be processed for release and you’ll need to ensure that they attend all their court dates.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

The bail process can be taxing and riddled with challenges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through this process, ensuring that all legal avenues are explored to potentially reduce the bail amount or secure a release on recognizance. Attorneys can also manage paperwork and deadlines, making the process smoother and less stressful.

At the Litwak Law Group, we understand the urgency and sensitivity of securing a loved one’s release from jail. Our knowledgeable team is ready to support you through every step of the bail process and beyond, advocating on your behalf to secure the best possible outcome.

Let Us Help You Reunite Your Family

If your loved one is in jail, don’t wait. Contact the Litwak Law Group today for expert assistance and dedicated support. We’re here to ensure your loved one doesn’t spend a minute longer behind bars than necessary. Let us help you bring them home.