How A Criminal Case Moves Through The Courts In Arizona

A person charged with a crime in Arizona must go through a series of court appearances. Many times, these appearances might not be scheduled for weeks or months from the initial arrest date. This is because the criminal justice system moves slowly; there are many steps involved before a trial can begin, and when one does take place, it can take many months to complete.

Arrest, Charges, And Initial Appearance

Arrest. When police arrest someone, they will take the person into custody and place them under arrest. The arresting officer has to be able to prove that there is probable cause for their arrest. This means that there is enough evidence for a jury or judge to believe that this person committed a crime before they can make an official charge against them, but not enough evidence to be able to convict them at trial. Once this happens, the prosecutor’s office needs to do two things: file charges against the suspect and set bail (the amount of money that must be paid if a defendant wants out). Great Criminal Defense With The Help Of Our Website.

The Setting Of Bail And/Or Detention

Once the case is filed, you will be required to appear in court. If you are released on your own recognizance (meaning without having to pay any bail), it is important that you keep track of all of your appointments with the court so that they may contact you if there are any changes regarding how often and where they should send a notice about these matters.

If there is enough evidence against someone who has been arrested for a crime like a robbery or murder, then their bail amount may increase significantly—and sometimes even beyond what’s necessary for them to secure their release from jail. If this happens after an initial appearance before a judge, at which time he decides whether or not there should be detention pending further investigation into whether or not charges should be filed against someone else involved with this crime as well (thereby making it harder for those people themselves), then things get even more complicated!

Preliminary Hearing

At this stage, the evidence appears before the judge and defense attorneys to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is probable cause for further proceedings against you; if so, then your case will go to trial.


After a preliminary hearing, if there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial, you are arraigned. During the arraignment, you will be asked to enter your plea of not guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity, mental disease, or disorder caused by drug or alcohol use during the commission of any crime. At this point in time, your attorney may request additional time to prepare for your case.


If you have been arrested for a crime, then there is no time to waste. The sooner you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, the better chance you have of avoiding conviction and ensuring that your rights are protected.

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