In Arizona, the majority of crimes are considered to be “bailable as a matter of right”. This means that, except for some of the most serious felonies, most defendants have the right to post bail and be released from custody before and during their criminal trial.
However, being released on bail comes with certain conditions. If you violate your Arizona bail conditions, you will face legal consequences, including the possibility of additional criminal charges. Find out exactly what happens if you violate your bail conditions (and what to do if you find yourself in this situation) from the criminal defense lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Law Group.
How Bail Eligibility Is Determined in Arizona
When deciding whether or not a defendant is eligible for bail, judges will take into consideration many different factors, including:
- The victim’s concerns
- The kind of criminal offense committed and its surrounding circumstances
- Prior arrests or convictions of a serious offense or violent or aggravated felony
- Whether or not the defendant may be a danger to others in the community
- Results of a risk or lethality assessment in a domestic violence charge
- Significance of evidence against the accused
- The defendant’s mental condition, family ties, employment, character, and financial resources
- Drug test results
- The defendant’s use or possession of illegal substances
- Whether the defendant is accused of manufacturing methamphetamine, the direct result of which led to the injury of a minor under the age of 15
- How long the defendant has lived in the community
- Prior history of arrests and convictions
- Records of court appearances or missed court appearances
- Whether the defendant is in the country illegally
- Whether the defendant lives in Arizona or another state
Common Bail Violations in Arizona
Depending on the type of crimes you’ve been charged with and their severity, your bail conditions may range from simply promising to show up to the next court hearing to much more stringent restrictions. Two of the most common bail violations in Arizona and their consequences are listed below.
Missing a Court Date
Regardless of what your specific Arizona bail conditions are, there is one thing all defendants who have been released on bail are required to do: show up in court. If you do not attend a court hearing related to your criminal case, your bail may be revoked. You may face some other not-so-pleasant consequences as well.
You’ll Be Charged With Failure to Appear
Failure to appear in court can result in additional criminal charges. If you were already being charged with a felony, you can be hit with the additional charge of a class 5 felony. You may also be charged with being in contempt of court, which is a class 1 misdemeanor.
You’ll Be Required to Pay Additional Court Fees
Missing a court date will cost you in more ways than one. Not only will you forfeit your bail, but you may also face additional fines and fees from the court. Petty offenses or misdemeanor charges may earn you up to $750 in court fines, while a felony charge could cost you up to $150,000 in fees.
A Bench Warrant Will Be Issued Against You
A bench warrant is a written order by a judge which allows a defendant to be tracked down, detained, arrested, and made to appear in front of the court. Although you’re likely to be granted bail again, you can expect the amount to be much higher the second time around.
In some cases, extenuating circumstances may serve as reason to quash the warrant following a missed court appearance. If you have missed a court date, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to find out your legal options.
Drinking Alcohol or Using Drugs
It’s not uncommon for judges to make refraining from drinking or using drugs a condition of bail, especially in DUI or drug-related cases. If you commit this bail violation in Arizona, you may be looking at additional consequences for your actions.
Your Bail Amount Will Increase
If you test positive for drug or alcohol use while out on bail, there’s a very good chance that the judge will increase your bail amount significantly. The costs associated with posting bail can quickly add up, especially if you’re using a bail bond service, which can charge you up to 10% of the bail amount.
Drug Testing Will Become More Frequent
Testing positive for drugs or alcohol may result in more frequent drug and alcohol testing. This may require completing a drug test as often as once a day, which can become very disruptive to your other daily activities like going to work and taking care of your family.
Other Possible Consequences of Arizona Bail Violations
There are many other possible bail violations that could compromise your freedom and negatively impact your criminal case. These may include refusing to abide by a protective order, traveling out of state, or committing another crime.
More minor violations could lead to stricter bail requirements, while serious offenses may lead to revoked bail and being remanded to jail. Other possible consequences include more frequent check-ins with the court, installation of a GPS ankle monitoring device, or house arrest.
I Violated My Bail Conditions – Now What?
If you believe you may have violated one or more of your bail conditions, the time to seek legal help is now. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you mitigate the impact of violated bail conditions at your bail violation hearing or negotiate for a lower bail amount. This can save you money and time spent in jail.
At Lerner and Rowe Law Group, your initial consultation is always free and confidential. Our dedicated legal team will promptly review the details of your case at no charge, and with no obligation to hire us.
Contact one of our Arizona offices today 24/7 by calling 602-667-7777 (Phoenix) or 520-620-6200 (Tucson). We offer affordable payment plans to make getting the legal help you need more accessible. You can also connect with us online via LiveChat, or submit your case details for a confidential review by filling out this form.