Initial Appearance & Arraignments in Arizona

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At the “Initial Appearance” the judge will: ascertain your true name and address; inform you of the charges against you; inform you of your various constitutional rights; consider any view or comments offered by the victim concerning the issues of Release (this usually occurs on Assault and Domestic Violence cases); and determine your conditions of “Release”. (See definitions below).

Watch this short video where David explains Initial Appearance / Arraignment in Arizona:

At the “Arraignment” (which many times happens at the same time as the same time as the “Initial Appearance”), the Judge will detail the charges being levied against you. In addition to informing you of certain Constitutional rights, they will also discuss whether or not you are being represented by Private Counsel, or whether you need to have a Public Defender appointed to your case. Also, the Judge will then set the case to the next court date (usually a “Pretrial Conference”) and then your case will proceed from that point forward.

Four Types of Release:

initial appearanceOwn Recognizance (OR): This is where the judge simply releases you on a promise to appear at your next court date based upon the fact that you have established ties to the community and are not a risk to yourself or others. The judge will also look to see whether you have failed to appear for past court dates on other matters.

Third Party Release: This is where the judge releases you to a third party (usually your parents or spouse) with the promise that they will bring you to court. They will have to answer to the judge if you do not show up at any one of your court dates.

Pretrial Services Release: This is normally seen only in felony cases. This involves the state’s agency monitoring you to make sure that you behave while you are out of custody and that you appear for all your court dates. This is similar to probation in that a surveillance officer could show up at your house at any time. If you are consuming alcohol, or have engaged in any illegal activities, they can inform the judge and have your release revoked immediately. Sometimes they will require you to wear an ankle monitoring device.

Bond: This is a method whereby the judge sets a certain dollar figure for you to post which will guarantee that you will appear at your next court date. If you fail to appear, the judge can then order a “Bond Forfeiture Hearing” to determine why the state should not be allowed to keep your money. Sometimes a “Bonding Schedule” is posted on simple felonies which designates an amount of money that a person can post in order to be released prior to seeing a judge. If a “bail bondsman” is used, usually a member of the Defendant’s family or a Defendant’s friend will contact the bonding agency. They need to give the bondsman approximately 10% of the bond amount, and then the bondsman will post the entire bond with the Court. The 10% which is given to the bondsman is their fee and will never be recovered by the Defendant. If a Defendant fails to appear in court, the bondsman will then send out a “bounty hunter” to track that person down and arrest them. They do this in order to make sure that the full bond amount is not forfeited by the judge at the bond forfeiture hearing.

initial arraignmentOnce DM Cantor, has been retained as your Phoenix Trial Attorney, we will attempt to set a “jail visit” with the Defendant as quickly as possible. If the Initial Appearance / Arraignment is coming up rapidly (and the Defendant is in custody), then our first visit will be just prior to the Court appearance. This will be conducted with the Defendant at the Jail before they appear in front of the Judge in “Jail Court”. We will have garnered all of the necessary information in order to fill out the proper “Release Questionnaire” prior to appearing before the Judge. Our number one (1) goal is to have a Defendant released from custody as quickly as possible. If our firm has been retained after the Initial Appearance, but before the Arraignment has taken place, then we will try to meet with the Defendant prior to the Arraignment date (if they are in custody). If the Hearing is coming up quickly, again, the first time we will meet the Defendant is just prior to the Arraignment (unless it is a “Video Arraignment” which only allows us to converse by way of closed circuit television between us, the Judge and the Defendant). We will then attempt to meet with the Defendant as quickly as possible after the Arraignment. If the Defendant is not in custody (in other words, they simply received a Summons in the mail) then obviously we will be standing next to them in Court when the Arraignment takes place.

It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Phoenix Trial Attorney and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of it’s lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At DM Cantor, the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Phoenix Trial Attorneys know the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at (602) 307-0808.

Contact DM Cantor and speak to a Phoenix Trial Attorney about your case. We will assist you with Initial Appearance / Arraignment.

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