The Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) allow eligible defendants in criminal cases to avoid jail time by going on probation on the condition they abide by certain terms of probation. People who violate any term of their probation risk getting their probation revoked and being remanded into custody.
Ten common conditions of probation in Arizona that probationers may be required to follow are:
- Paying fines and victim restitution. In many cases, courts will agree to a payment plan so the defendant can pay it off over time instead of all at once.
- Completing community service hours, usually with the city or a non-profit. Defendants should get approval from the Adult Probation Department (APD) beforehand as to where to perform the service, and what the duties will be. The defendant’s supervisor at the organization will keep a log of the community restitution hours to serve of proof of compliance.
- Abstaining from drugs and alcohol. In these cases, defendants may be subjected to random and unannounced illegal drug tests. Certain defendants may even be required to wear anklets that detect alcohol in the skin. As part of this, many defendants are also required to complete drug or alcohol treatment. This often consists of group therapy as well as individual therapy and education classes about the dangers of substance abuse.
- Attending counseling. Therapy sessions occur once or twice a week over several months. The counselor will submit a letter of completion once the counseling is over.
- Nighty curfews where the defendant must be home by a certain time every night.
- Abiding by a no contact order / protection order. This requires the defendant to avoid all communications with the victim in the criminal case, usually a domestic violence dispute. Therefore, the defendant cannot engage in any in-person or electronic communications with the “protected person.” And if the “protected person” initiates contact, the defendant has to end it immediately.
- Limitations on travel. For instance, defendants may be prohibited from leaving the county or state. Or else they may need permission from their probation officer beforehand more taking any trips.
- Surrendering all firearms. Depending on the situation, defendants may be able to get their guns back once the case is over. During probation, the defendant should avoid living with any gun owners.
- A driver’s license suspension. Here, defendants may be able to take public transportation or hitch rides from friends. But they cannot go behind the wheel themselves.
- Electronic monitoring, where the defendant wears a GPS bracelet so the probation officer knows where he/she is at all times. In some cases, defendants are placed on house arrest (“home confinement”), where the defendant may not leave his/her property at all except to keep appointments with a probation officer. And defendants must consent to random searches of their home, vehicle, or person by probation department officers and law enforcement officers.
An additional term of standard probation is avoiding new arrests. When defendants pick up another criminal case during the probation period, the D.A. will likely file a petition to revoke probation with the Superior Court judge. And the judge may order a probation revocation even if the defendant is not ultimately convicted of the new crime.
Read our related articles on the two main types of probation: misdemeanor probation (which is often unsupervised probation), and felony probation (which is often intensive probation, and some criminal offenses carry lifetime probation). Also see our articles on probation violation hearings and Does Arizona extradite for probation violations?