Phoenix, AZ asked in Family Law for Arizona

Q: My friend got put in jail for not paying child support. She hasn't gone to court yet for sentencing and the jail won't

The jail won't let me bail her out. They didn't give her a lawyer or anything. And Im trying to help her but can't afford a lawyer. The jail is telling me she needs to go to court and bail needs to be posted there, but she won't be released until the court date. I am honestly lost and don't know where to go from here.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
Answered
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Unfortunately, until she is arraigned before the Court, there is nothing for you to do. She should have a court appearance this morning and bail will be set. Only then will there be anything more for you to do short of saying a prayer for your friend.

Peter W Davis
Peter W Davis
Answered
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: the jail is giving you bad information. when someone is arrested for child support there is no bail to be paid, but a purge amount associated with the warrant. The purge amount gets paid and the individual will be let out with a hearing date set. If the purge cannot be met, she will stay in jail until the hearing where a judge may lower her purge amount, or vacate it all together if she doesn't have the means to pay. There is no sentencing. She stays in jail until she pays the purge amount or the court determines she doesn't have the ability to pay.

You generally will not be able to obtain money from a bail bondsman, as this is not bail, but a purge. The amount paid goes to the child support debt and will not be refunded upon release.

You can generally pay it at the jail through a kiosk, though several counties may not have this set up. if that is the case you can pay this purge amount at the County Clerk's office generally (though not in Pinal County as they refuse to accept payments last I was there). Once the purge payment is made, she will be released. The amount can vary greatly, I have seen purges for as little as $100 and as much as $40,000.00. it depends upon her situation and what the judge ordered on the warrant.

Randi Sirlin
Randi Sirlin
Answered
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: She will need to wait to be arraigned. Some judges require the bond be the "purge" amount of child support owed, but other judges just want the person to start making some payments. If someone cannot afford their child support, it is their responsiblity to file for modification of child support. I recommend contacting an experienced family law attorney and if your friend does not have money, look for an attorney who provides fee or reducted fee services.

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