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Sentencing Options in an Arizona Criminal Case

If you are facing criminal charges, you may be wondering about the sentencing options available under Arizona criminal law. Even if you are hoping to beat your criminal case, you should still be aware of the possibilities.

If a defendant is convicted of a crime, it is not guaranteed that he or she will go straight jail or prison because there are other alternatives. The sentencing options in Arizona include probation, prison/community supervision, and prison/parole.

  • Probation: If you are placed on probation, you will have a number of restrictions placed on you in regard to your conduct and travel. If you violate any of the terms of your probation, you may have additional restrictions placed upon you, or you may be incarcerated. If you take an inappropriate action while on probation, including prohibited contact with a victim or witness, it is supposed to be reported to the Maricopa County Adult Probation Office.
  • Prison and Community Supervision: Arizona has what is called “truth in sentencing laws” that was enacted in 1994. Under these laws, anyone who is convicted must serve a minimum of 85% of their prison sentence, unless the offense prohibits early release. When the defendant is sentenced, the judge also orders a term of community supervision to be completed after the prison term.
  • Prison and Parole: The agency that determines if a prisoner is to be released from prison on parole is the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. If you are released from prison on parole, two organizations will be responsible for supervising you: the Parole Division and the Arizona Department of Corrections.

If a defendant is sentenced and they want to challenge the prosecution, conviction, and sentence, they can file an appeal or file for a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR). With an appeal, the defendant is making a formal request asking an appellate court to review their case to see if their rights were observed and that all applicable procedures were followed according to the law.

Anyone who is convicted of a crime has the right to file a PCR if they believe their conviction violated their rights under the U.S. or Arizona Constitution. To learn more about a defendant’s sentencing options and their right to an appeal and PCR, contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC for a free case evaluation.

Next: FAQs About Warrants in Arizona