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Probation in Phoenix, Arizona

If you are facing criminal charges in Phoenix or anywhere else in Maricopa County, soon you will learn about probation and what it entails. Probation is a sentencing alternative available to judges, an alternative that is favorable to criminal defendants because it means they can be in the community, working and supporting their families.

Probation is one of the most popular sentencing alternatives used across the nation. The courts like it because it reduces the prison population and it saves taxpayers millions every year. Probation also reduces the burden on the welfare system because probationers are able to work and support their dependents, rather than families having to rely on the state for their necessities. Defendants prefer probation over imprisonment because they are free, and not behind bars.

Probation may be preferable over incarceration; however, it comes with strings attached. For example, probationers are required to work while they are on probation, unless they are a student or disabled. Generally, probationers must complete 40 hours of community service every month. Individuals who are on probation because of a drug offense may have to complete a set number of community service hours as required by law.

In addition to the above, judges have discretion when it comes to community service hours. A judge can order more or less community service hours if he or she thinks it’s appropriate based on the defendant’s offense. The probation officer or the judge can decide how many community service hours a defendant performs in a month.

General probation conditions often include:

  • Do not break any state or federal laws
  • Do not use illegal drugs
  • Remain employed
  • Financially support your dependents
  • Submit to random drug testing
  • Pay victim restitution (where applicable)
  • Report to your probation officer as instructed
  • Pay all court-ordered fines
  • Do not leave the area without the probation officer’s permission

The above is a list of general probation terms; a judge can change them so they are tailored to fit the individual. If a probationer violates a term of their probation, it can result in additional sanctions, or the probation can be revoked and the violator can be arrested and incarcerated.

If you are facing criminal charges in Phoenix, contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC to schedule a free consultation with a former prosecutor!