Skip Navigation LinksHome > Victim Services > Initial Appearance

Initial Appearance

Traducción al español Traducción al español


As a victim of a crime, you have the Right to attend the Initial Appearance hearing.


If you are unable to attend the hearing, our staff is able to assist you over the phone by creating an Impact Statement, or you can use the link below to create your own Statement and email or fax it to us.


Click here for the Impact Statement
(How to send the Impact Statement: Please save this form on your local desktop, once finished attach here and send.)

Click here for helpful tips about writing an Impact Statement


If you would like to appear, it is extremely important to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to Court. Contact MCSO Victims’ Assistance and Notification Unit at 602-876-8276


If you are unable or prefer not to appear at the Initial Appearance you may submit your Impact Statement:
  •  By PHONE at 602-876-8276
  •  By EMAIL to VANU@MCSO.maricopa.gov
  •  By FAXING to 602-252-5936

Your Statement will be given to the Judge and the Prosecutor and will have the same impact as being present in court.


We are located at:

201 South 4th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Map it


You must deposit money in the parking meters Monday through Friday (Except Holidays) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cost is $1.50 in change for 1 hour.


You will need to enter the 4th Avenue Jail on Madison, between 3rd & 4th Avenues. There are metal doors on the building that say IA Court Viewing, Bonds & Fines.


Once you enter the Lobby, you may call us directly on your cell phone so we can come out to prepare for court. If you do not have a cell phone, proceed to a bond window (after they have finished with a customer), inform the Clerk that you are a victim, here for court and they will call us. You do not need to take a number or fill out a form in the Lobby.


It is very important that you arrive a minimum of 30 minutes prior to court. This is necessary to prepare for your appearance.


You will have 3 options:
  • You may observe the court without making a statement.
  • You may turn in a written Impact Statement.
  • You may make a Verbal Statement over a speaker system from a private, protected room. Please feel free to have someone attend with you, we want you to be comfortable.


** If you have an Order of Protection to be served, it can be Served at this same time. **


Initial Appearance Court is held at 4th Avenue Jail EVERY DAY, Including Holidays.


County Initial Appearance court times are held every 3 hours - (2am, 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, 11pm)


City of Phoenix Initial Appearance court times are 10am and 4pm


NOTE: Not all individuals that are arrested and booked by Phoenix Police Department are seen by the City of Phoenix Initial Appearance court. It is important to call the Victims’ Assistance and Notification Unit (602-876-8276) to confirm an individual’s Initial Appearance court time.


It is important to remember that a defendant must be seen in front of a magistrate within 24 hours.


NOTE: It is POSSIBLE for a defendant to be seen as quick as 2 hours depending on the court load when being booked into the county jail. It can take from 2 to 15 hours from initial arrest, depending on the arresting agency, to complete their own processing, transporting to 4th Avenue Jail and completing our Booking Process.


 The following cities hold their own Initial Appearances for city charges:     
Avondale Chandler Gilbert
Glendale Mesa Scottsdale
Tempe
If the judge releases them without a bond, they would not be brought into our custody.


Defendants that receive a court ordered bond amount would be booked into our custody for housing and any other charges not seen in city court, would be scheduled for an Initial Appearance at the 4th Avenue Jail, Initial Appearance Court.


What happens in Initial Appearance Court?
This is the first time a suspect appears in court. An initial appearance for a person in custody must be held within 24 hours of arrest.


At the County Initial Appearance, four important events take place:
  • The suspect is informed of the allegations.
  • The person is advised of the right to an attorney. If the court finds the person cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed.
  • Conditions of release are established. This means that the court will determine if the person shall be released on bond or their Own Recognizance, or remain jailed for the safety of the community.
  • Another court date is set for the next proceeding, usually in a Justice Court or the Superior Court.


NOTE: At the City of Phoenix Initial Appearance, it is possible for a plea to be entered and a sentencing to take place.


As a crime victim, one of the most important rights you have is to let the court know, at the Initial Appearance, as well as at sentencing, how the crime has affected you and your family. A Victim Impact Statement helps to ensure your right to be heard even if you cannot personally appear. This is especially important because a defendant may be released from custody at any court setting.


*** The Victim Impact Statement is not confidential and a copy will be given to the Judge, Defense Attorney or Defendant, and Prosecutor. Do not include your address and phone number in the statement if you wish to keep it confidential. ***


Again, if you are unable or prefer not to appear at the Initial Appearance you may submit an Impact Statement over the phone, by fax or electronically. Your Statement will be given to the Judge and the Prosecutor; it will have the same impact as being present in court.


Click here to submit an Impact Statement