How to Post Bail at Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, Arizona

How to Post Bail at Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, Arizona

Are you looking for information on how to post bail at the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, Arizona? This guide provides all of the necessary steps and information that you need to know about posting bail. From understanding what a bail bond is, to knowing who can sign as an indemnitor, this article covers everything you need to know when it comes time to post bail in Maricopa County. Read on for more detailed instructions on finding a jail bondsman and helpful tips.

Many people wonder how the bail bond process works at the Maricopa County Jail (also known as 4th Avenue Jail or Madison Street Jail) in Phoenix. To summarize, a judge uses a matrix form to determine how to best proceed in the matter of bail for an individual alleged offender.

Bail Factors considered by the judge

The offender’s matrix form takes individual court history into account and bail amount is determined according to the following factors:

  • Whether the person has failed to appear for a case in the past
  • Seriousness of the offense
  • Whether the individual is on probation
  • Other factors regarding personal character and risk toward re-appearing in court

Importance of hiring an experienced attorney

The judge may determine that the individual can be released on his or her own recognizance. There may be a bond, or they may be non-bondable. Being non-bondable means they must remain in jail throughout their court process. Capital murder cases and those involving crimes against children are non-bondable.

Although bail bondsmen are quick to line up to work with accused parties wanting to post bond, it is better to reach out to an experienced attorney for representation at the bail hearing. This is because a qualified and experienced Arizona criminal lawyer can argue points as to why the judge should consider reducing bond. These measures are often very effective and can greatly reduce offered bail amounts. In some cases, cash or surety bonds can even be changed to own recognizance (“O.R”) or third-party bonds that do not require financial payment.

Types of Bail Bond and Release

If a bond is going to be offered by the judge at Maricopa County Jail, there is a choice to be made between cash or surety bonds. Other options include pre-trial services, O.R. releases and third-party releases.

Cash Bonds

Cash bonds equal the amount you must post in order to get out of jail. As an example, a $50,000 cash bond equals $50,000 you must post to leave jail. When you have showed up for case proceedings as directed, your $50,000 is returned at the end of the case. If you fail to show up as ordered, you forfeit your bond amount.

Surety Bonds

Surety bonds are more common than cash bonds. As part of a surety bond, a judge ordering $50,000 requires you to provide $5,000 to a bondsman. The bondsman then posts a paper for your bail. For the bondsman’s services, you are essentially paying him the $5,000 as a ten percent fee for posting your bail. This is a better option for many who cannot tie up $50,000 all at once, although they will never be returned any of the $5,000.

Pre-Trial Services

Pre-trial services, also called PTS, may be ordered by the judge. This means that there will not be a set bond, but electronic ankle monitoring will likely be required. These monitors use GPS for geo-location or a SCRAM unit to monitor alcohol through skin perspiration. SCRAM units are most common in felony DUI cases.

O.R. Release

“O.R.” means to be released on your own recognizance. O.R. release is usually provided when you have not had other problems through the courts or criminal justice system in the past. But if you do not appear as ordered, you suffer major consequences.

Third-Party Release

Third-party release requires a third party, such as a parent to be held accountable for your future court appearances.

Steps to Posting Cash Bail Bonds at the Fourth Avenue Jail

To post cash bail bond at the Maricopa County Jail / Fourth Avenue Jail, you first must obtain the inmate’s booking number. You may obtain this by calling the Maricopa County Jail hotline at 602.876.0322. Select “inmate information” from the list of automated prompts and properly spell the inmate’s full name and provide their date of birth to receive their booking number.

Acceptable Forms of Payment

Bail can only be posted using a USPS money order, Western Union money order or cashier’s check. Any of these must be made out as paid to the order of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The money order or cashier’s check must also be in the precise amount of bond.


Posting bail at the Maricopa County Jail can be a confusing and stressful process, but by understanding the different types of bond and release options and being represented by an experienced attorney, it can be made easier. It is important to have all necessary information such as the inmate's booking number and to make sure that the bail is posted in an acceptable form of payment. In addition, remember that the bond may be reduced if a qualified and experienced Arizona criminal lawyer is representing you, even to own recognizance release.