Posting Bail in Arizona: What Are Your Options?
Getting arrested and having to spend time in jail will obviously be stressful. You will be looking for ways out of the situation and bail is one of the commonly employed options. Bail can be paid to spend the time until the trial out of jail. Here’s everything you need to know about the specifics and regulations of posting bail in Arizona.
Arizona Bail Law
Within 24 hours of getting arrested, a judge will set the bail amount. The sum is usually in proportion with the severity of the alleged criminal offense. Those who have committed minor crimes and non-violent first-time offenders may be capable of getting out of jail without having to pay the amount. They will need to sign a document, stating that they’ll return for the court proceedings.
Several additional factors are used in Arizona to determine what the bail amount is going to be:
- Whether a flight risk exists
- The financial situation of the defendant (whether they have a job, property, etc.)
- Ties to the community and family support
- Whether the person is a repeat offender
Bail is a constitutional right throughout the US. There may be a few situations, however, in which no bail is set. Whenever a probation violation has occurred and in cases of extreme severity of the charges, an Arizona judge may decide that it would be best to keep the suspect in jail until the trial occurs.
A few of the instances in which bail may not be offered include the following:
- Capital offense
- Sexual assault or sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15
- Molestation of a child under the age of 15
- A felony offense if there are reasons to believe the person has entered the US or is staying in Arizona illegally
Several regulations feature provisions about posting bail in Arizona. The most important ones include A.R.S. 13-3972, Arizona Constitution (Article II, Section 22) and A.R.S. 13-3961 (the final one describes the purpose of the bail in detail).
Bail Bonds and Bondsmen
The term bail bond is another important one to discuss in the context of getting out of jail. According to A.R.S. 20-340(1), a bail bond is a contract that focuses on the release of a person from jail until the attendance of a court session.
Whenever a person pays their bail by bond but fails to appear in court, the surety insurer will have to cover the cash value of the bond. The surety insurer is the entity responsible for executing the contract.
The insurer will appoint a bail bondsman to execute the bail bond. In a sense, the bail bondsman is an agent who works on behalf of the insurer and is an intermediary between the defendant and the insurance company.
According to Arizona Revised Statutes 33-3969, the local sheriff has to provide a defendant with a list featuring the names and contact information of bail bondsmen. All of the licensed bondsmen should be featured in this document without recommendations for the use of one or another service.
Options for Posting Bail
Whenever the funds are available, families should consider covering the bail amount on their own. Whenever a bail bond company is not being used, the amount will have to be paid in full.
Whenever a bail bondsman is being used, fees and collateral will have to be discussed and agreed upon as a part of the process.
Each bond company will also have its specific requirements pertaining to frequency of communication with the client. Usually, a schedule will have to be followed and the defendant will also have to provide updates about their contact information and the court process. The collateral and the release conditions will vary from one case to another, which is why you shouldn’t assume a specific aspect of interacting with the bond company. Ask important questions in advance and get your attorney involved in the process to identify the best opportunities.