Many people wonder how the bail bond process works at the Maricopa County Jail (also known as 4th Avenue Jail or Madison Street Jail) in Phoenix. To summarize, a judge uses a matrix form to determine how to best proceed in the matter of bail for an individual alleged offender. The offender’s matrix form takes individual court history into account and bail amount is determined according to the following factors:
The judge may determine that the individual can be released on his or her own recognizance. There may be a bond, or they may be non-bondable. Being non-bondable means they must remain in jail throughout their court process. Capital murder cases and those involving crimes against children are non-bondable.
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Although bail bondsmen are quick to line up to work with accused parties wanting to post bond, it is better to reach out to an experienced attorney for representation at the bail hearing. This is because a qualified and experienced Arizona criminal lawyer can argue points as to why the judge should consider reducing bond. These measures are often very effective and can greatly reduce offered bail amounts. In some cases, cash or surety bonds can even be changed to own recognizance (“O.R”) or third-party bonds that do not require financial payment.
If a bond is going to be offered by the judge at Maricopa County Jail, there is a choice to be made between cash or surety bonds. Other options include pre-trial services, O.R. releases and third-party releases.
Cash bonds equal the amount you must post in order to get out of jail. As an example, a $50,000 cash bond equals $50,000 you must post to leave jail. When you have showed up for case proceedings as directed, your $50,000 is returned at the end of the case. If you fail to show up as ordered, you forfeit your bond amount.
Surety bonds are more common than cash bonds. As part of a surety bond, a judge ordering $50,000 requires you to provide $5,000 to a bondsman. The bondsman then posts a paper for your bail. For the bondsman’s services, you are essentially paying him the $5,000 as a ten percent fee for posting your bail. This is a better option for many who cannot tie up $50,000 all at once, although they will never be returned any of the $5,000.
Pre-trial services, also called PTS, may be ordered by the judge. This means that there will not be a set bond, but electronic ankle monitoring will likely be required. These monitors use GPS for geo-location or a SCRAM unit to monitor alcohol through skin perspiration. SCRAM units are most common in felony DUI cases.
“O.R.” means to be released on your own recognizance. O.R. release is usually provided when you have not had other problems through the courts or criminal justice system in the past. But if you do not appear as ordered, you suffer major consequences.
Third-party release requires a third party, such as a parent to be held accountable for your future court appearances.
To post cash bail bond at the Maricopa County Jail / Fourth Avenue Jail, you first must obtain the inmate’s booking number. You may obtain this by calling the Maricopa County Jail hotline at 602.876.0322. Select “inmate information” from the list of automated prompts and properly spell the inmate’s full name and provide their date of birth to receive their booking number.
Bail can only be posted using a USPS money order, Western Union money order or cashier’s check. Any of these must be made out as paid to the order of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The money order or cashier’s check must also be in the precise amount of bond.
This payment must be taken to the bond out window at the Fourth Avenue Jail, to be provided to the clerk with a completed request form obtained there, as well as your own driver’s license. One thing to remember when posting bail for someone is that your driver’s license will be checked against police records. If you have any outstanding offenses, warrants or other issues, you may be immediately held in jail, yourself. Ensure you are crime-free when posting bail to avoid a worst-case scenario.
There are a multitude of other scenarios that can delay bail processing. This is another reason why working directly with an experienced Phoenix criminal attorney is the best option for the circumstances. For example, if a cashier’s check is used to post bond, the bank must be open when the check is presented, so it may be verified as legitimate. In essence, it is never best to attempt to work through the bail posting process without the help of an attorney.
From beginning to end, an experienced Arizona criminal attorney will walk you through the bail process. The attorneys of the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor have worked with thousands of jailed clients needing to post bail. A qualified defense lawyer will negotiate the lowest possible bail amount, so you can possibly even gain release on your own recognizance.
When you or someone you love has been jailed, call the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor at 602-307-0808 immediately for the help you need during this difficult and distressing time.
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