Right to Release
This rule outlines the conditions under which a defendant can be released before and after conviction in criminal cases in Arizona, taking into account the severity of the charges, evidence, and the defendant’s behavior and characteristics.
Before Conviction; Bailable Offenses (Section a):
- Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
- Defendants charged with bailable offenses have the right to be released on their own recognizance with minimal mandatory conditions unless the court deems additional conditions necessary to ensure appearance in court or protect the community.
- The court considers various factors in determining release conditions, including the nature of the offense, evidence, defendant’s history, and danger to others.
- A hearing may be held within 24 hours (if requested) to decide bail eligibility and conditions.
Before Conviction: Defendants Not Eligible for Bail (Section b):
- Defendants charged with certain serious offenses, including capital offenses or sexual assault, may not be released if evidence strongly supports their guilt.
- For other felony charges, the court may deny bail if evidence strongly supports guilt and the defendant poses a danger.
- Factors considered include offense nature, evidence weight, defendant’s history, victim safety, risk assessments, and more.
- A hearing may be held to determine bail eligibility.
After Conviction (Section c):
- Courts limit release options for defendants convicted of offenses likely resulting in imprisonment.
- Release may be allowed if the conviction’s validity is in question, or if the defendant’s health is at risk in custody.
- Release conditions must protect others from harm.
- Defendants released during appeals must diligently pursue them; otherwise, release may be revoked.
- Defendants released after completing a sentence will not return to custody upon appeal decision.
Limited Jurisdiction Courts (Section c, Part 2):
- Defendants appealing convictions with incarceration sentences may remain out of custody with initial release conditions.
- Lack of diligence in appeal may result in release revocation.
- Courts may amend release conditions based on risk factors but must consider various factors like offense nature, community ties, employment, and more.
- Defendants released during appeals should complete sentences before appeal decisions.
Burden of Proof (Section d):
- Preponderance of evidence determines issues under this rule.
- The state must prove factual issues related to release, while the defendant must prove factual issues related to release after conviction.
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