In Arizona, bail is a matter of right for every single charge, with the exception to a few serious charges where at the first setting bail is not made available. However, certain motions can be filed for bail at a later day.
Is The Bail Amount For A Felony Higher Than That Of A Misdemeanor?
A lot of the factors the court is going to look at when determining the bail amount is whether or not there are prior convictions and whether those were misdemeanors or felonies. They are also going to look at what the current charges actually are, of course. Someone who is charged with a Class II felony is going to have a higher bond or bail amount than someone who is charged with a Class VI felony. This is why it is important that if you are arrested, you contact an attorney right away. When you do, an attorney is able to go in and argue those factors for you at your initial appearance and get you a much lower bond.
It happens time and time again. For example, someone is charged with manslaughter and doesn’t have an attorney representing him or her in court. The judge sets the bail amount in a matter of $100,000. Another person then comes in with an attorney on the same charge, and he or she is able to argue some of the circumstances for their clients and that bail amount may be set in amount of $20,000. It can be a substantial reduction in the amount of bail that you’re going to have to have because just because there is an attorney there arguing for your benefit.
When Does Someone Have A First Appearance On A Felony Charge?
There are two ways in which a case is going to be brought against the person being charged. The first is if someone is arrested and booked into custody, then he or she will have the first court hearing within 24 hours. Arizona law states that you have to be brought before a magistrate within 24 hours of being arrested or booked in. If the officer is going to cite and release, then a first court appearance could be a matter of months or years before that comes up. Though, generally speaking, a first court date is going to happen within 12 months. If you receive a summons, however, your first court appearance, either your initial appearance or not guilty arraignment, is going to happen about 30 days after that is issued.
What Courts Are Felony Cases Going To Be Heard In?
If your court is not in an early disposition court, then they are going to be in the superior court of the county that you are in. For Maricopa County, that is in downtown Phoenix and that is where that court hearing is going to take place.
What Are The Potential Penalties Associated With A Felony Conviction In Arizona?
Dangerous crimes require different sentencing guidelines than other crimes. As a general guideline, for a first offense, a person can receive probation. For a first time offense, if you’re eligible for a diversion program, an attorney is going to try and get you into that as well. On a second or subsequent offense, however, that is when the penalties start adding up. In Arizona, there are some mandatory sentencing statutes that will govern your sentence.
Penalties are going to be based off how many prior felony convictions you have been convicted of, if those are historical or non-historical, and then what level of felony is also considered. For example, a Class II felony is going to carry a much higher sentencing range than a Class VI felony. That’s why it is so important to have an attorney fight for you. He or she has the ability not only to try and negotiate what level of felony it will be but also whether or not priors are going to be alleged.
Additional Information Regarding Felony Charges
It is important to have an attorney involved at the beginning stages. You are already at an unfair advantage in that the detectives or the police officers have already had a chance to go through and do their investigation. After they have done that, they will send it to a prosecutor who looks at it so they basically get a head start. It is important to go in and talk to an attorney right off-the-bat even if you haven’t been charged yet. A number of clients come in and say, “A detective’s been knocking on my door. What should I do?”
They then hire us for letters of representation and to help investigate so that we can try and even out that playing field.
For more information on Getting Out On Bail, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 400-1355 today.