In Arizona, offenders can be sentenced to probation terms in lieu of jail or may enter the probation system following a jail term. Once in the probation system, offenders are held to strict rules and regulations for compliance. These can include community service residency restrictions, mandatory appointments, and many more. Anyone caught violating their probation terms may be charged with a probation violation, among other possible charges. Probation violations in Arizona carry serious criminal penalties. Probation may be revoked, and offenders can be sentenced to lengthy jail or prison terms for a suspected violation. If you or someone you know is facing charges for probation violation, there is a lot on the line. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.
Arizona Probation Terms (ARS §13-901)
Arizona has a reputation for strict law enforcement. Individuals placed on probation instead of jail or prison time must still meet challenging expectations. Oftentimes, a judge will sentence an offender to probation as an alternative to prison for first-time offenders. Those completing jail sentences may also face probation terms lasting long after release. The terms set forth for each Arizona probationer may vary, but typically include:
- Forfeiture of Fourth Amendment rights, granting law enforcement permission to search your person, home, or vehicle at will.
- Ongoing random and scheduled drug and alcohol screening.
- Tight restrictions on traveling outside county or state limits.
- Mandatory education and awareness programs.
- Orders to pay fines, fees, and victim restitution on time.
- Reporting to community service obligations.
- Prohibitions on relationships, types of employment, and other lifestyle restrictions.
Depending on the terms set forth in the probation agreement more restrictions may apply, including limitations on computer use or internet access. Probationers can have difficulty conforming to the number of expectations set forth by the state. In many cases, probation violators are unaware they’ve committed a violation. Regardless of intent, those suspected to be in violation of their probation agreement will likely face probation violation charges and enhanced sentences for any new criminal charges.
Probation Violations in Arizona
Anyone suspected of a probation violation, regardless of severity, faces immediate arrest and the possibility of remaining in jail without bail. There are no juries at probation hearings. A judge will listen to both arguments, weigh any evidence presented, and make a ruling. In probation violation cases, the amount of evidence necessary for conviction is minimal. It is imperative you fight probation violation charges with the aid of a defense attorney familiar with the probation system.
The penalties for violating probation typically correspond with the condition of probation violated. Probationers can be arrested for violating simple probation conditions or for committing new crimes. The possible penalties for violating probation in the State of Arizona can include:
- Imposition of new or suspended jail or prison sentences
- Extensions of probation terms
- Increased severity of probation conditions
Your defense strategy may be the only thing standing between you and lengthy confinement. An effective defense can result in a return to the original probation conditions, with no additional penalties, or even a termination of your probation. Phoenix defense attorney Elizabeth Mullins knows the probation system and has experience defending clients in courtrooms across Arizona.
Defending Probation Violations
Those arrested for probation violations in Arizona are not subject to automatic penalties. They have the right to defend their case and fight the charges brought against them. Probationers have the odds stacked against them. Having a conviction and being on probation can lead to difficulties finding or keeping a job and paying fines. Violations are all too common, leading to years of punishment for sometimes simple and harmless violations.
You need a lawyer to help the judge understand the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation, your character, and how you’ve already learned from your original conviction. Don’t gamble with your future on the line. Contact the Phoenix Law Office of Elizabeth Mullins to challenge your probation violation. Elizabeth is an experienced Maricopa County criminal defense attorney familiar with the probation system. She will work with you to attain the best possible outcome for your case. If you’re facing probation violation charges anywhere in Arizona, contact criminal defense attorney Elizabeth Mullins today.