The Basics of Probation in Arizona

The Basics of Probation in Arizona
When you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in Arizona, the court must consider your sentence. As a part of the sentencing hearing or plea deal, probation is often imposed instead of jail or prison time. Probation releases the defendant into the community while still being monitored by the court and is determined by the criminal offense and the defendant’s criminal background. Every type of probation has terms assessed by the court and these terms will be written on your sentencing documents.

Three Types of Probation in Arizona

There are three types of probation in Arizona: supervised, un-supervised, and intensive. Every type has certain conditions that must be satisfied. These often include a set curfew, community service hours, no alcohol or non-prescribed medicines, remaining employed or in school, limitations on your contacts and travel, and submitting to searches of your vehicle, residence, or person at any time. Probation for more serious or specialized crimes or for individuals who are seriously mentally ill is more rigid and supervision is increased.

Unsupervised Probation

For low-level misdemeanors and petty offenses, the probationer may be given unsupervised probation. During this time, there is no need to routinely report to a probation officer. Instead, they must only abide by the rules written on the sentencing documents. In addition to this, the court can sentence jail time (up to 6 months), assess fines which could exceed $2500, and assign mandatory counseling.

Supervised Probation

Felony conviction sentencing often includes supervised probation, which can be assigned in addition to or instead of incarceration. This type of probation requires that they regularly meet with a probation officer and follow any rules and conditions that the court imposes. Other forms of supervision may also be required. These can include alcohol or drug tests, community service, and counseling sessions. Along with probation, the individual will also be required to serve their jail sentence and pay fines and fees up to $250,000.

Intensive Probation

More serious convictions can receive intensive probation. This is the strictest form of community supervision in Arizona and places you under house arrest. It is focused on paying restitution to the victims of the crime. Probationers will have two probation officers assigned that constantly monitor behavior. They will also conduct visits to home, work, and treatment locations. Intensive probation also means that paychecks received during this time are remitted to Intensive Probation Supervision. They will then make payments to the victims of the offense and any court obligations. Any violation of probation terms that are listed on your sentencing document will result in further penalties being assessed or probation revocation.

Length of Probation

The length of your probation depends on your criminal case and is at the discretion of the judge. Most unsupervised and misdemeanor probations can last up to 3 years. DUI probations can last 5 to 7 years, while aggravated DUI can run up to 10.  Felony probation can last 3 to 7 years depending on the severity of the crime.  If the probation included restitution be paid to the victim and the amount has not been paid in full by the end of the probationary period, the judge can extend the period for up to 5 years for a felony and 2 years for a misdemeanor. There are some offenses that can carry lifetime probation at the judge’s discretion, and these include:
  • Sex offenses
  • Sexual exploitation of children
  • Child sex trafficking
  • Failure to register as a sex offender
  • Terrorism
  • Unlawful use of an infectious substance
  • Stalking
  • Child abuse

Have You Been Charged With a Crime?

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Arizona and face probation, jail, or prison time, it is important to have an experienced attorney at your side. Our defense attorneys can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
If you have been convicted of a crime and have questions about probation in Arizona, call us today.
2929 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ. 85716