Frequently Asked Questions

My top priority is to get you out of jail if at all possible. A high bond/bail is normally set in these types of cases. You have the right to have your bond reviewed by a Judge who can reduce the bond or release you with certain conditions. This may take several weeks because a written motion must be filed, the prosecutor gets to respond and a hearing must be held by the Judge.

Bond/Bail Amount

The amount of bond/bail and the likelihood of release depends on several factors including:

  • seriousness of charges
  • amount of evidence
  • prior record
  • employment
  • family support
  • length of residence in Arizona or elsewhere
  • past failures to appear in Court
  • drug or alcohol history

Posting Bond/Bail

Bond/Bail can be posted as follows:

  • Cash in the full amount of the bond/bail directly to the Court.
  • By paying 10% of bond amount to a bondsperson and putting up collateral worth the rest of the bond.
  • A property bond, which usually requires real property (house or land). A lawyer can do this for you without going through a bondsperson.

When you are involved in a criminal investigation or arrested, cited, charged or summoned to appear in court, some of your property and personal belongings may be seized by the government. This personal property may include money, vehicles, homes, cell phones, cameras, computers and all other types of assets. Depending on the reason for seizure, you may or may not get your property back. When your property is returned will also depend on the reason it was seized and the type of property it is considered. Having an experienced attorney familiar with the legal process and requirements governing the seizure of property is crucial to fighting for the release of your property.

Personal Property

Your personal property and belongings may be seized as the result of an arrest, search or filing of criminal charges. If the law enforcement agency and prosecutor handling the case determine that the property is not evidence of the offense and will not be used as part of the state's case, the property should be returned to you. This may require a letter and/or phone call to the law enforcement agency holding the property as well as the prosecutor's office.


Property seized by the government that is determined to be evidence in a case will continue to be held by the government throughout the duration of the case. Upon the resolution of the case which occurs after the sentencing, dismissal of the charges, or an acquittal at trial, the property may be released and returned to you.


If your property has been seized for forfeiture, it means that the government believes that the items seized are proceeds of criminal activity. In other words, the government is alleging that your property was obtained using funds that came from unlawful conduct. You do not have to be charged with a crime in order for the government to seize assets it intends to forfeit. The government is required that you be given written notice of its intent to forfeit the assets at issue. Once you receive this "Notice of Pending Forfeiture", it is essential that you file a claim within 30 days to have the property returned. There are very specific procedures and requirements governing this process, which is why you need an experienced attorney to help you fight the state's case against you. For more information concerning the specific procedures, see Arizona statute 13-4301 and its subparts.

  1. Arrest or Summons
  2. Initial Appearance (on TV if in jail)
    • set bond or release conditions
    • appoint or retain lawyer
    • inform you of charges
  3. Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury within 10 days of Initial Appearance
  4. Arraignment - (Plead Not Guilty) within 10 days of Grand Jury or Preliminary Hearing.
  5. Bond Reduction Hearing - As soon as possible
  6. Case Management Conference (Monthly Status Reports to the Judge) 2-3 weeks following arraignment
  7. Pre-Trial Hearing on Motion to Suppress/Dismiss
  8. Plea Bargain or Trial
  9. Sentencing Hearing if Convicted

Your personal appearance can be waived at some of the court dates early in the case. You may also be allowed to appear by telephone if you live out of town.

Consequences of a Felony Conviction

In addition to a possible jail or prison sentence, a felony conviction results in a loss of your civil rights, including your right to vote, sit on a jury and to possess a firearm. There is a process which can restore your rights after you complete your probation, jail or prison sentence. If someone is a permanent resident alien or in the United States illegally, a felony conviction may also be used to deport that person.

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