Bail Money, Gavel, and Scales of JusticeIf you have been charged with a crime in Flagstaff or Northern Arizona, you may be confined in jail after your arrest. However, you may be eligible for bail.

Unfortunately, the judge could set your bail at an amount you cannot afford to pay. Fortunately, an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer can help you reduce your bail and fight to get the charges against you dropped.

What Is Bail and a Bail Bond in Arizona?

Bail is the amount of money a person who has been arrested must pay to the court to secure their release from jail while their criminal case is being decided. If they cannot afford to pay bail, they can have a family member or friend pay it for them.

A judge would decide how much bail must be paid for the defendant to be released from jail. In making a decision, They will consider a number of factors, such as the following:

  • How severe the crime is
  • Defendant's criminal record
  • Likelihood of them fleeing

If an individual cannot afford to pay bail out of pocket, they can use a bail bond. A bail bond is an agreement entered into between the defendant, a bail bond agent, and the court. The person or someone on their behalf pays a fee to the bail bond agent, usually around 10% of the bail amount. The bail bond agent guarantees the judge that the person will attend all court dates. If the individual fails to appear at a court hearing or trial, the bail bondsman would be responsible for paying the bail amount to the court.

How Can a Lawyer Help Get Your Bail Reduced?

If the initial bail amount set by the court at your arraignment is too high for you to afford, you can ask the judge to reduce your bail at a bail bond hearing. This hearing is also referred to as a release hearing in Arizona. You are much more likely to get your bail lowered if you retain a skilled Arizona criminal defense lawyer. Here are some ways a lawyer can help you:

  • File Motion to Reduce Bail. Your lawyer can file a motion requesting a bail reduction with the court. This motion must provide valid reasons why the bail amount is too high and should be lowered. Your lawyer will argue that you are not a flight risk, have ties to the community, and are not a danger to yourself or others.
  • Attend Hearing. Your criminal defense attorney will attend the bail bond hearing to argue for a reduction in bail on your behalf and present the reasons why your bail should be lowered.
  • Present Evidence. Your lawyer will present evidence to the judge to support their arguments for a bail reduction. This evidence can include character references, employment records, medical records, and other documents that show you will not flee and are not a danger to the public. They may also call witnesses to testify on your behalf.

What Factors Will the Judge Consider When Making a Decision on Whether to Reduce Bail?

When considering a motion to reduce bail, the judge will consider similar factors as when they initially set the bail amount. These factors include:

  • Severity of the crime. The judge will consider the severity of the crime you are accused of committing. The judge may be less likely to reduce your bail if the offense is serious.
  • Criminal history. The judge will review your criminal history. If you have a history of not appearing at court hearings or committing similar or other serious crimes, the judge may deny your motion to reduce your bail.
  • Employment. The judge will want to know whether you have a job and your financial situation in deciding whether to reduce your bail. If you have stable employment and support a family, they may be more willing to lower your bail to an amount you can afford.
  • Ties to the Community. The judge will consider your ties to the community. The judge may agree to reduce your bail if you have strong ties, such as family and employment.
  • Flight Risk. The judge will consider whether you are a flight risk. If the judge believes you will likely flee, they would not reduce your bail.
  • Danger to the Community. The judge will evaluate whether you are a danger to the community. If the judge believes you pose a danger, they may not grant your motion to reduce your bail.
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