A.R.S. 22-424 Interpretation

In State v. Klein, 147 Ariz. 77, 708 P.2d 758 (App. 1985), the Court considered whether a defendant was deprived of his right to bail as set forth under A.R.S. 22-424. 147 Ariz. at 79, 708 P.2d at 760. Section 22-424 required the police justice (currently known as a magistrate) to prepare a master bail schedule for certain traffic violations and allowed defendants charged with the designated traffic offenses to post bail without appearing before a magistrate. Id. at 80, 708 P.2d at 761. The State argued that Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 4.1 required a defendant be taken before a magistrate before bail is set and precluded the application of A.R.S. 22-424. Id. at 81, 708 P.2d at 762. The Court rejected the State's argument, and stated: Arizona Revised Statutes 22-424 simply creates an exception to the general procedure prescribed by Rule 4.1. If Rule 4.1 were a statute, 22-424 would control because it is the more specific. Even if we were to find the rule and the statute to be in conflict, the statute must govern where the matter concerns a substantive right. The right to release is certainly substantive, and even more so where the purpose of release is to obtain exculpatory evidence which will disappear very quickly with the passage of time. Id. Klein did not discuss or create an unfettered substantive right to bail under the eighth amendment. Instead, Klein determined that A.R.S. 22-424 allowed certain defendants to be quickly released on bail, so they could attempt to secure independent proof of their sobriety. Id.