Parole and Probation in Arizona

How Parole and Probation in Arizona are Used?

Sentencing in the criminal justice system is not just jail time or prison time. There are many other options as well. Two of these other options include probation and parole. Both of these options permit individuals to be out in the public while carrying out their sentencing. Typically the court will only impose probation under certain circumstances.i Also, probation in Arizona will only be imposed under specific terms and conditions that the defendant has to follow.ii Violation of probation probation in Arizonacould result in more criminal charges and jail time. Parole is also only offered under specific terms and conditions that the defendant has to follow as well.iii While probation and parole are very similar, and often times confused for one another, there are differences between the two.

Probation Generally

Probation is the suspension of a jail sentence.iv This allows that individual, who was convicted of a crime, to remain out in the community rather then behind bars.v Probation requires the individual to follow specific court-ordered rules and conditions during the probation term.vi Individuals on probation are also required to complete these conditions under the supervision of a probation officer.vii The type of conditions that individual has to complete can include performing community service, refrain from using illegal drugs or excessive alcohol, or avoiding certain places or even people.viii Other conditions could include appearing in court and regular meetings with a probation officer.ix Some individuals may be placed on an “inactive status” which means they do not need to regularly meet with their probation officer during their term of probation in Arizona.x

Probation may be used in lieu of ever going to jail, but probation can also be used immediately after jail time.xi This is referred to as a split sentence.xii Either way, the individual will need to remain on their best behavior during their probation otherwise they risk going criminal penalties and possible jail time. The amount of time a person stays on probation varies, depending on the crime the individual committed and the state laws.xiii Probation can last for a year, three years, or even the person’s entire lifetime.xiv The lifetime probation is usually reserved for serious crimes, like drug or sex offenses.xv

There are also financial aspects to probation as well.xvi Probation also has a financial aspect for the individuals involved as well.xvii The individual may have fines to pay, court costs, or attorney’s fees.xviiiParticipation in a treatment program may also be a requirement of probation, and completion may be necessary to be taken off of probation in Arizona.xix

Probation Violations and Consequences

Now, if you violate probation or break any of the rules of your probation, serious consequences can follow. If a violation occurs, it is the discretion of the probation office as to whether you should be punished or not.xx The probation officer may providing the violating individual with just a warning or the probation officer may require the individual to attend a probation violation hearing.xxi At a probation violating hearing, the judge will make the final determination as to whether there was a probation violation.xxii If the judge determines that there was a violation, the violating individual could face a number of different consequences, depending on first the reason the individual is on probation and then the actual violation of the probation.xxiii

Parole Generally

Now, parole and probation in Arizona have a lot of similarities but both serve a very different function in society. Parole is a conditional release from prison that allows a prisoner to rejoin the community after they have served all or most of their prison term.xxiv This is unlike probation, which allows an individual to avoid prison time all together in many circumstances.xxv In both instances of probation and parole, the individual has to follow certain court ordered procedures and refrain from getting into trouble with the law.xxvi If an individual on probation or parole violate the rules they risk going to prison and paying more fines for their violation.

Individuals on parole are referred to as parolees.xxvii Parolees can have different statuses, depending on the conditions of their parole and the crime that caused them to serve their prison sentence. Some parolees may be on an inactive status, meaning they do not need to regularly reporting.xxviii Other parolees on an active status will need to regularly report to an assigned individual, parole officer, to keep track of their progress.xxix Another forms of statuses that an individual can have include those who have only a financial condition of their punishment remaining, those who have absconded previously, or who have active warrants out.xxx

Parole Violations and Consequences

Paroles typically have to fulfill certain conditions and adhere to specific rules of conduct while they are out in the community.xxxi Just as if the individual on probation violates their conditions, if an individual on parole violates their conditions they may return to prison as well.xxxii Violations of parole are result in prison time for the violating individual. There could also be more financial fines the individual needs to pay off.

Conclusion to Parole and Probation in Arizona

While prison is frequently the punishment ordered by a judge, there are other options for individuals convicted of a crime. Probation and parole are among the options that are available in place of prison. Both of these options permit individuals to be out in the public while carrying out their sentencing. Typically the court will only impose probation under certain circumstances.xxxiii Also, probation will only be imposed under specific terms and conditions that the defendant has to follow.xxxiv Violation of probation could result in more criminal charges and jail time. Parole is also only offered under specific terms and conditions that the defendant has to follow as well.xxxv Consult experienced attorneys for queries on probation in Arizona.


i See Probation FAQ FindLaw (Accessed January 11, 2017) http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/probation-faq.html

ii Id.

iii See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324

iv See Probation FAQ FindLaw (Accessed January 11, 2017) http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/probation-faq.html

v Id.

vi Id.

vii Id.

viii Id.

ix See Probation FAQ FindLaw (Accessed January 11, 2017) http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/probation-faq.html

x See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324

xi See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324

xii Id.

xiii See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324

xiv Id.

xv Id.

xvi See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324

xvii Id.

xviii Id.

xix Id.

xx See Probation FAQ FindLaw (Accessed January 11, 2017) http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/probation-faq.html

xxi Id.

xxii Id.

xxiii Id.

xxiv Id.

xxv See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324

xxvi See Probation FAQ FindLaw (Accessed January 11, 2017) http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/probation-faq.html

xxvii See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324

xxviii Id.

xxix Id.

xxx Id.

xxxi Id.

xxxii Id.

xxxiii See Probation FAQ FindLaw (Accessed January 11, 2017) http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/probation-faq.html

xxxiv Id.

xxxv See What is the Difference Between Probation and Parole Bureau of Justice Statistics (Accessed January 11, 2017) https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=qa&iid=324