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Arizona Supreme Court issues ruling on sex crimes and bail

Some may argue that sex crimes are some of the most reprehensible crimes a person can commit. For this reason, those accused of committing a sex crime may find that not only is their freedom on the line, but also that the mere accusation has negatively affected their personal life. Sometimes, the evidence against the accused can seem damning, but the accused still deserves his or her constitutional rights upheld. One of these rights is the ability to be released upon posting bail.

The Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling regarding bail and certain sex crimes. According to the ruling, those accused of rape are permitted to post bail, even if there is enough evidence prior to their trial that the accused committed the crime. This ruling overturned a 2002 state constitutional amendment in which those charged with certain sex crimes were automatically denied bail.

The Court pointed to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stated that detaining someone prior to trial without permitting the person to post bail can only be done if there is a "legitimate and compelling" reason for doing so, and that any type of restriction applied has a narrow focus. Thus, if the accused is not a danger to the community, they must be able to post bail.

The Arizona Supreme Court did state that courts are permitted to impose restrictions on the accused after the accused is released on bail. But, these restrictions must be meant to protect public safety, like, for example, having the accused's whereabouts monitored through a GPS device.

Just like everyone, people accused of sex crimes deserve to have their constitutional rights upheld. This includes the 4th Amendment right against unlawful searches and seizures, the 5th Amendment right to due process, the 6th Amendment right to a speedy trial before an impartial jury and the 8th Amendment right regarding excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishments. If these rights are violated, a person should not be convicted. Sex crimes are amongst the most serious crimes one could face, so it is important that one's rights are protected from the initial search and seizure to the end of the trial process, and all points in between. That is why an attorney is crucial.

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