Felony Initial Appearance

What is a Felony Initial Appearance?

felony dui initial appearanceThe Initial Appearance is usually the first hearing at which the accused appears in court. It is a very brief hearing. The defendant is informed of the charges against him/her and release conditions are set.  The Initial Appearance usually occurs within 24 hours if there has been an arrest and the defendant is being held in jail.

Possible Release Conditions

  • Own Recognizance – Sometimes called “OR Release”, this means the defendant is released with minimal release conditions.  Usually stay in contact with their attorney, don’t leave the state, and don’t violate the law.
  • Pretrial Services – The defendant has to report to a court officer on a regular basis.  Sometime this requires drug testing or alcohol monitoring.
  • Bond – The defendant is required to post money to secure his release and ensure his appearance at future court hearings.  Sometimes a bail bondsman is used.  A bail bondsmen posts an insurance policy, called a surety, in lieu of cash to secure the defendant’s release.
  • Non-Bondable – The defendant is not entitled to release.  The Arizona Constitution declares certain offenses non-bondable.  A defendant can also be non-bondable because of a probation or immigration hold.

Some jurisdictions call the Initial Appearance a Bond Hearing.

The next hearing that takes place is usually a Preliminary Hearing or a Grand Jury Indictment.


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