What Happens After Someone Is Arrested For A Crime?
In Arizona, you could be cited and released. That means that the officer gives you a ticket and you get to go home. You are not going to be put in jail, you get to walk home. You get to go home after that. So it's not an arrest. If you got a ticket, you are still arrested. You could also though, the officer could decide and usually for felony, this is what's going to happen but maybe for misdemeanors too where you're going to be booked into the jail, you're actually going to be booked into jail and you're not going to get out any sooner than normally seeing a judge. Sometimes there is a bond amount that's set right off-the-bat, certain kinds of offenses might have a bond, and it kind of depends on the jurisdiction.
I've seen it happen different ways where they might just have a bond amount already in the computer if you're taken into custody and booked into the jail. If you make that bond, you may make that bond before you even see the judge. So for most people, what's going to happen is the bond amount isn't known yet or they're going to be held until the judge sees them and then the bond amount is going to be set. A lot of times, there is a bond but not always. I mean somebody might be released once the judge sees you. The judge might decide to release you what they call on your own recognizance. They might say ROR (released on your own recognizance) or just OR (Own recognizance).
You might get released that way, or you might be even released into the custody of a third party, a responsible third party who is going to promise that they will make every effort to get you to court and that they promise if the person is absconding or has moved and they don't know where they are, they can't find them or the person has said, “I am not going to go to court, I am not just going to show up”, that person is to report it to the court immediately because the court's going to want to put out a warrant and have law enforcement and they'll revoke the third party custodial arrangements and then they can put out a warrant for that person to try to get them back into custody so that they know the person's going to show up to court.
So there is the initial encounter with the officer where the officer is investigating what went on. The officer may arrest you and have you booked into jail or the arresting officer may give you a ticket or the officer may not know whether he has enough yet to go on with the case and wants to run it by the prosecutor anyway. But where the case ends up on the prosecutor's desk and the prosecutor has to decide if you should be charged and then the prosecutor can file a complaint and have a summons issued and you're summoned to court, so you come in layer on your own volition to court, you're going to walk into court and take care of it as opposed to getting handcuffed and dragged away, or the prosecutor can issue the complaint and ask for a warrant.
Then the police go out to find out or if you're stopped one day driving, they run you because you got a speeding ticket and they look into the system and say, “You got a warrant for this type of case. We have to take you in on this warrant”, and you might not have even realized that the case was ever filed via complaint. But there are various ways to get you, first of all, into the justice system and then officially charged and then to get you into court. There are felony procedures which are different and in Arizona, you can either have a preliminary hearing which are very limited at least in Cochise County when the state goes to preliminary hearing in very, very limited situations, it's not often done. More likely if it's a felony, the case will be presented to a grand jury, the grand jury would do the indictment, would issue an indictment if they felt there was a reason for the formal charges to be filed.
With the indictment, you'd be notified. Hopefully you'd be notified but again, a summons to appear, here is your indictment, you've been formally charged, here's your summons to appear in court or you could be indicted and they could put out a warrant for you because they don't know where you are or you've already said, “I will never voluntarily come to court”, and so they could put out a warrant for you. There automatically normally would be a bond amount attached to that warrant. If you are picked up, you are not going to get out unless you post that amount of bond money unless the judge later changes it. The judge could actually increase the amount of bond that's required or could lower it or remove the bond requirements. So it's very complicated, we also have something called early resolution court in Arizona that would probably be a full fashion just to talk about early resolution court which is the way to deal with some felony cases, it's sort of a new thing.
How Do You Advise Clients That Want To Plead Guilty To A Criminal Offense?
I would not recommend that ever especially with DUIs or with any kind of a case, I would not recommend that because we don't know what other factors can exist which I can mitigate. First of all, I tell people and my slogan is “because good people make mistakes.” That's why I am here to help you because good people make mistakes and I don't want anybody to ever equate a mistake, me saying it's a mistake or the person taking ownership of the situation that they made a mistake, I don't want that person to ever equate that with guilt. Making a mistake in your life and getting into some trouble does not equate to guilt but you should not just say, “I am guilty, do what you want and I hope for the best”, because first of all, what you did may not be guilt, in the end.
There may be defenses, maybe the state can't prove the elements. Also especially with DUIs, there are serious consequences, there are the collateral consequences they set with your work, with your professional licensing, with motor vehicle. So let's take a look at it and see what the situation is and see what I can find and possibly get the case dismissed or possibly get a reckless driving or let's say you have an extreme DUI or a super-extreme DUI, I might be able to get it down to a non-extreme DUI. If you have a prior DUI in the 7 years prior and you'll be looking at a DUI with a prior conviction. Maybe I can get the prosecutor not to allege the prior conviction and so you'll be treated as a first time offender.
All of these things are something that an attorney that knows what they are doing should be looking into and not just saying, “Yes, I just go ahead and plead guilty and just take it, throw yourself on the mercy of the court”. No, that is not a good way to approach something that can have some serious impact on your life. So you need an attorney that has experience in criminal defense and if it's a DUI, you really need somebody who is experienced in DUI defense and we would work on it and we'll try to get the best outcome. It doesn't mean everybody's going to get off absolutely scot-free, it doesn't mean that a miracle is going to happen but I would certainly help somebody and that takes time. That takes time in knowing what to look for and knowing what to do in court.
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