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Felony Probation Laws in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Corrections has a program that allows people convicted of violent crimes to be released from prison and placed on probation after serving 85% of their sentence. A person on felony probation is subjected to rules that are designed to protect the community and rehabilitate the offender. Note that the probation officers have a great deal of power and discretion when it comes to enforcing these rules and if a person on probation breaks one of the rules, their probation officer may ask the court to issue a warrant for their arrest.

A felony probation violation is a serious offense that can result in jail time, fines, and other penalties. If you have been charged with a felony probation violation in Phoenix, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We invite you to contact the Phoenix Criminal Attorney if you are facing criminal charges in Phoenix.

How Does Felony Sentencing Work in Arizona?

If convicted of a felony in Arizona, your sentence will be determined by the judge, and you may receive:

  • Probation or Community Supervision – You may be sentenced to probation or community supervision if the court believes you can be rehabilitated outside of prison. Probation is a sentence imposed in lieu of incarceration, and community supervision is a sentence imposed in lieu of incarceration for offenders who are not eligible for probation.

  • Prison – You may be sentenced to prison if the court believes that you cannot be rehabilitated outside of incarceration.

  • Treatment Programs – If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the court may order you to participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

If you are convicted of a felony in Arizona, the sentence you receive is based on the severity of the crime you committed. The severity of a crime is determined by the amount of harm the victim suffered and your intent to cause harm. For example, felonies that involve the use of a deadly weapon are classified as dangerous felonies, and the punishment for these types of crimes is harsher than the punishment for non-dangerous felonies.

What Is a Felony Probation?

Felony probation is a court-ordered sentence that is imposed on an individual who has been convicted of a felony. The term of the probation may vary but is typically between one and three years. This order allows the defendant to be released from incarceration and places him or her under the supervision of a probation officer. The order is usually issued as part of a sentence following a guilty plea or conviction. The defendant must agree to abide by certain conditions, such as obeying the law, regular check-ins with a probation officer, attending counseling or treatment programs, and refraining from using drugs or alcohol. If the defendant violates any of the conditions, he or she may be subject to penalties, including incarceration.

What Crimes are Eligible for Felony Probation in Arizona?

Out of the six classes of Arizona felonies, five are eligible for probation. They include:

  • Class 5 felony – Probation may be granted at the discretion of the court. The maximum period of probation is three years.

  • Class 6 felony – A first offender may be placed on probation at the discretion of the court. The maximum period of probation is two years.

  • Class 7 felony – A first offender may be placed on probation at the discretion of the court. The maximum period of probation is eighteen months.

  • Class 8 felony – A first offender may be placed on probation at the discretion of the court. The maximum period of probation is one year.

  • Class 9 felony – A first offender may be placed on probation at the discretion of the court. The maximum period of probation is nine months.

Certain aggravating factors may preclude the court from granting probation. Additionally, there are certain offenses where probation is not allowed by law, and prison time is mandatory. These crimes include:

  • Murder

  • Manslaughter

  • Aggravated assault

  • Sexual assault

  • Child molestation

  • Arson Burglary

  • Robbery

  • Theft of a vehicle or firearm

  • Criminal damage

  • Forgery

  • DUI is when the driver commits murder or serious physical injury

  • Possession, sale, or production of dangerous drugs

  • Theft of property valued at more than $20,000

  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, or first-degree robbery

  • Indecent exposure to a person under the age of 15

  • Violence with the intent to promote or aid a criminal street gang

The list of felonies that are not eligible for probation is much shorter than the list of eligible felonies. However, some other important considerations can affect whether or not a probation sentence is imposed on a defendant.

Types of Probation in Arizona

There are three types of probation in Arizona: supervised probation, intensive probation, and unsupervised probation.

  • Supervised probation — This is a type of probation in which the offender is monitored by a probation officer. The offender must meet with the probation officer regularly and follow the rules set forth by the probation officer. The offender may be required to complete community service, attend counseling, or participate in other rehabilitative activities.

  • Intensive probation — This is a type of probation that requires more frequent check-ins with a probation officer and may include additional conditions such as drug testing, anger management classes, or community service.

  • Unsupervised probation — This is a type of probation in which the offender is not required to meet with a probation officer regularly. The offender is required to comply with certain conditions, such as obeying all laws, maintaining employment, and avoiding drug and alcohol use. If the offender violates any of the conditions of probation, he or she may be subject to more severe penalties, such as jail time.

Probation Conditions in Arizona

The conditions of probation are set by the judge in each case. However, some conditions are considered “standard” or “standard and mandatory” in the state of Arizona. Some of these standard and mandatory conditions may include:

  • Payment of all fines and restitution to victims

  • Proper reports to a probation officer, which may include regular meetings, phone calls, or mail correspondence

  • Refraining from illegal drug and alcohol use

  • Refraining from associating with known criminals

  • Refraining from owning a firearm

  • Refraining from leaving the state without permission from the court

  • Refraining from changing residences without permission from the court

  • Possession of a valid Arizona driver’s license

  • Refraining from obtaining a new driver’s license from another state

  • Completion of drug and alcohol treatment and evaluation, if the court orders you to do so

  • Refraining from obtaining a passport without permission from the court

  • Refraining from committing new criminal offenses

  • Completion of community service, if the court orders you to do so

  • Refraining from employment in a position that may place him or her in contact with children

  • Possible completion of a victim impact panel

  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that the probationer drives

  • Possible home detention

  • Possible curfew

  • Possible drug testing

  • Completion of anger management or other counseling, if the court orders you to do so

Felony Probation Violations in Arizona

A probation violation occurs when an individual fails to comply with the terms and conditions of their probation. There are different types of probation violations. Some of the most common types of violations include: Failing to report to your probation officer, trying to contact the victim of your crime or someone you are not supposed to contact, failing to attend substance abuse treatment programs, failing to complete community service, or violating a restraining or protective order

If you violate the terms of your probation, you could be taken into custody and brought to court. At the court hearing, the judge will decide what to do about your probation violation.

Possible Punishments for Felony Probation Violations

There are several possible punishments for probation violations including, extending the probationary period, imposing new conditions on your probation, sending you to jail, and giving you a longer prison term. If you are on probation for a serious crime, you could face a mandatory prison sentence. For example, if you are on probation for a violent crime and violate your probation, you could face a mandatory prison sentence.

Defenses Against Probation Violations in Arizona

If you have been charged with a probation violation in Arizona, a defense attorney can investigate the claims made against you and present the most compelling defense possible to protect your rights.

The following are some common defenses that can be used to beat a probation violation:

  • Violation is based on false accusations — If you are accused of a violation that you did not commit or of committing an act that is not a violation of your probation, an attorney can investigate and prove that your actions are being misinterpreted.

  • Violation is based on a technicality — If a violation is based on a mere misunderstanding or technicality, an attorney can work to prove that the violation did not occur or, at the very least, that it should not result in punishment.

  • Insufficient evidence — If there is insufficient evidence to prove that you committed a violation, an attorney can work to get the charges dropped.

  • Lack of notice — If you had no way of knowing you were violating your probation, the court may find it in your favor.

  • Violation is based on a failure to appear for a court date — If you were unable to appear for a court date, you may be able to prove that you did not willfully fail to appear. Your attorney could help you prove that you had an emergency that made you miss the court

Determining the best defense to your charges will require an in-depth analysis of the facts of your case and the charges against you. A qualified probation violation attorney may be able to investigate the facts of your case, find the evidence that is most favorable to your defense, and present the strongest possible case on your behalf.

Probation Revocation Laws in Arizona

If someone on probation in Arizona violates the terms of their probation, their probation officer may file a petition to revoke probation with the court after which the court may hold a hearing.

31.17. Probation Revocation Hearing

The court may hold a hearing to determine whether a person on probation should be revoked if the person is alleged to have violated a condition of probation. The hearing is held within a reasonable time after the person is alleged to have violated a condition of probation.

The person alleged to have violated a condition of probation has the right to be represented by counsel, and the court may appoint counsel if the person is indigent. At the hearing, the court may consider any relevant evidence, including but not limited to:

  • The defendant’s criminal history

  • The defendant’s compliance with the conditions of probation

  • The severity of the alleged violation; and

  • Any other factors the court deems relevant.

If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person has violated a condition of probation, the court may revoke probation and impose any sentence that could have been imposed if the defendant had been convicted of the offense for which probation was originally imposed.

Can I get my felony probation in Arizona Terminated early?

In some cases, a probationer may be eligible for early termination of their probation if they have complied with all the conditions of their probation and have made progress in rehabilitative or treatment programs.

Filing a Petition for Early Termination

To file a Petition for Early Termination of Probation in Arizona, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Download and print the appropriate Petition for Early Termination form

  • Complete the form, making sure to include all required information

  • File the form with the clerk of the court in which you were sentenced

  • Serve a copy of the form to your probation officer

  • Attend the hearing on your Petition for Early Termination

  • Follow the court’s ruling

How Long Does a Felony Probation Last?

The length of felony probation in Arizona depends on the severity of the offense for which the offender was convicted. For example, probation for a Class 4 felony may last up to three years, while probation for a Class 2 felony may last up to seven years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Felony Probation in Arizona

Below are detailed questions and answers to help you better understand felony probation:

Can a probation violation be dismissed?

There is no guarantee that a probation violation will be dismissed. The court may consider the evidence and the severity of the violation and decide to dismiss the violation. However, if the court finds that the violation is serious, the court may revoke probation and sentence the offender to jail or prison.

Will I be able to vote if I am on felony probation in Arizona?

No, you will not be able to vote if you are on felony probation in Arizona.

How can I avoid a probation violation?

The best way to avoid a probation violation is to comply with the terms and conditions of your probation. This includes reporting to your probation officer as required, attending mandatory counseling or treatment sessions, paying any fines or restitution that have been ordered, and avoiding any new criminal activity.

What should I do if I am accused of a probation violation?

If you are accused of a probation violation, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and can work to help you avoid any negative consequences.

What are the advantages of being placed on felony probation?

The benefits of being placed on felony probation can include avoiding jail time, being able to remain in the community, and having access to rehabilitative resources. Probation can also provide structure and support that can help an individual successfully reintegrate into society after being convicted of a crime.

Can my criminal records be expunged after completing felony probation?

Yes. It is possible to have the record of the conviction expunged after the completion of the probationary period. This requires filing a petition for expungement. Expungement is the legal process of sealing or destroying court records.

What makes someone eligible for felony probation?

A person may qualify for felony probation depending on various factors. However, judges mainly consider the following:

  • The severity of the crime

  • The offender's criminal history

  • The offender's age

  • The likelihood of the offender repeating the offense

Who caters for supervision during probation?

In the majority of cases, the offender is required to pay for his or her own supervision while on felony probation.

Find a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

When you are facing felony charges, you are likely to be sentenced to felony probation. If you violate the probation conditions, you are likely to face further charges for violation of probation. We at Phoenix Criminal Attorney understand the impact that these charges can have on you. That is why we devote our resources to defend you aggressively if you are facing criminal charges or violation of probation in Phoenix. Get in touch with us today at 602-551-8092.

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