Navajo County

Proudly Serving, Continuously Improving Since 1895

Navajo County Public Defender
Glossary

Appeal of Conviction: A defendant who had appointed counsel at the determination of guilt or at sentencing may proceed on appeal as an indigent without further authorization unless after a notice of appeal is filed the trial court finds that the defendant is able to employ counsel and pay for a certified copy of the record on appeal and the certified transcript. In a felony case, the Navajo County Public Defender will file a notice of appeal along with a motion to withdraw from the court-appointed representation within 20 days of the entry of judgment and sentence. Thereafter, the court will appoint outside counsel to effectuate the appeal. In a misdemeanor case, the defendant may elect to appeal to the Superior Court, in which case the Public Defender will file the Notice of Appeal and continue the representation to the conclusion of that appeal.

Arraignment: For in-custody defendants, arraignment must occur within 10 days of the filing of an indictment, information, or complaint. For those defendants out of custody, arraignment is set generally within 30 days. An arraignment is a proceeding in which the defendant enters a plea, usually not guilty. The court may inquire as to conditions of release, and any contested release hearing and pretrial conferences are set at that time.

Arrest: May be warrantless, by summons or by warrant. The summons is used if the offense charged is bailable and there is reason to believe that the defendant will respond. If by warrant, the magistrate shall determine that probable cause exists that the defendant committed the offense or find that such a determination has been made. If a defendant fails to appear after being summoned or good cause exists to believe the defendant will fail to appear, or the summons cannot be readily served or delivered, a warrant shall issue. An officer can also arrest a defendant at the scene of the crime or in close proximity, such as when the officer would not have time to get a complaint filed before the arrest.

Arrest, Time Limitations: A defendant must be brought before a magistrate within 24 hours after arrest, or immediately released. A complaint must be filed with 48 hours of the initial appearance before the magistrate, or the defendant must be immediately released.

Bond: Bond is set at the initial appearance, prior to the Public Defender appointment. Depending on the charges, a public defender may be able to get the bond reduced at justice court, or later in superior court after requesting a release hearing. Bond and release conditions are based on a number of factors, such as failures to appear, prior criminal history, pending warrants/charges, ties to the community, job history, recommendations from friends, family, etc. These factors are considered by the court in a release hearing. There are various types of bonds: Release on Recognizance, Appearance, Secured, Cash, and 3rd Party Release. The Public Defender does not arrange bond.

Own Recognizance: The defendant's promise that he or she will return to court when required.

Supervised O.R. Release: Supervision may include avoiding contact with an alleged victim, entering a drug program, reporting in person or by telephone to the Supervised Release Program, until disposition of the case.

Third Party Custody: This is an own recognizance release with a third party co-signing the release order, stating that every effort will be made to see that the defendant appears. The third party is also responsible in seeing that if any conditions of the defendant's release are violated, the court is promptly notified.

Unsecured Appearance Bond: Release without having to post a cash bond; however, he or she does sign an order stating he or she will execute an appearance bond, binding him or her to pay the State of Arizona a designated sum of money should he or she fail to appear.

Secured Appearance Bond: The defendant must deposit with the court either property or cash in the amount set forth in the order before he or she will be released.

No Bond: Under the following circumstances, a defendant can be held without a bond: Capital Offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great. Felony offenses, committed when the person charged is already admitted to bail on a separate felony charge and where the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the present charge.

Case Management Conference: Referred to as a CMC, this is a status check by the court as to where the case stands. Depending on the case and investigation and disclosure, CMCs may be continued to accommodate defense or state or both.

Complaint: A written statement of facts constituting a public offense, made on oath before a magistrate. The complaint may be made by a person with knowledge of the criminal offense, by a police officer, or prosecutor.

Criminal Violation: Generally, a commission of an offense the law recognizes as a criminal violation. The offense may be classified as a Class 1, 2 or 3 misdemeanor, or a felony ranging from the most serious (First Degree Murder, a Class 1), to the lowest classification, a Class 6.

Indictment: A written statement charging the commission of a public offense, presented to the court by a grand jury, endorsed a Atrue bill@ and signed by the foreman.

Indigent: All defendants are entitled to representation by counsel, unless the criminal violation is a petty offense for which no jail time is sought or imposed after a judgment of guilty. The Supreme Court of Arizona provides eligibility (financial) guidelines for those defendants who require, but cannot afford, representation.

Information: An information is a charging document that is filed in Superior Court within 10 days after the determination of probable cause or the defendant’s waiver of a preliminary hearing.

Initial Appearance: The magistrate shall ascertain the defendant’s true name and address, amend the formal charges to reflect it, inform the defendant of the charges, the right to counsel and the right to remain silent. Release conditions will be determined, the victim(s), if any, may comment, and fingerprinting ordered if not previously done. If a misdemeanor is charged, the defendant may be arraigned, and may continue the proceedings for a pretrial conference or enter a plea of guilty. Only misdemeanor cases may be resolved by guilty plea in Justice Court.

Post-Conviction Relief (Rule 32): A defendant who has pleaded guilty and been sentenced may file a petition for post-conviction relief. The petition must be filed within ninety days after the entry of judgment and sentence or within thirty days after the issuance of the final order or mandate of the appellate court in the petitioner’s first petition for post-conviction relief The Rule 32 proceeding is not a substitute for an appeal and any issue that could have been raised on appeal and was not is deemed waived, subject to certain exceptions. In a capital case, the Supreme Court or if authorized by the Supreme Court, the presiding judge of the county from which the case originated shall appoint counsel for the defendant. In a Rule 32 of-right and non-capital case, the presiding judge shall appoint counsel if requested and if the defendant is determined to be indigent.

Preliminary Hearing: A preliminary hearing is a determination by the court that probable cause exists to take the defendant to trial. A defendant charged with a felony has a right to a preliminary hearing before a magistrate not later than 10 days following his initial appearance if in custody and not later than 20 days following the initial appearance if not in custody unless the complaint has been dismissed, the hearing is waived, or the court finds extraordinary circumstances exist and delay is indispensable for justice. The magistrate must enter written reasons therefore and give the parties prompt notice thereof. A defendant may also demand that the preliminary hearing be held as soon as practicable. The preliminary hearing testimony is recorded and may be used at trial to impeach a witness (or a defendant). Your attorney will discuss your preliminary hearing rights, including the right to waive it, at or before the appearance.

Supervening Indictment: If the defendant has previously had an initial appearance under Rule 4.2 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, the court prepares and sends to the defendant and defendant’s counsel a notice of supervening indictment in lieu of issuing a warrant or summons.

Trial by Jury: Arizona Constitution's guarantee of right to jury trial “[i]n criminal prosecutions” preserves the right to jury trial only for serious crimes, as opposed to petty crimes. In a criminal case in which a sentence of death or imprisonment of thirty years or more is possible, the number of jurors is twelve, and the concurrence of all shall be necessary to render a verdict. A jury for trial in any court of record of any other criminal case shall consist of eight persons, and the concurrence of all shall be necessary to render a verdict. In a court not of record, the jury for trial of any case shall consist of six persons. The concurrence of all in a criminal case shall be necessary to render a verdict.

Waiver of Appearance: If agreement is reached by both defense and State, particularly when a Case Management Conference will be continued based on further discovery requests, a defendant’s appearance may be waived.

Waiver of Trial by Jury: The defendant may waive the right to trial by jury with consent of the prosecution and the court.

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