Arizona Criminal Records
Arizona criminal records refer to documents that detail a person’s complete criminal history. Employers who perform background checks on potential employees use criminal records to check for active warrants, arrests, past convictions, indictments, and dispositions. Criminal records are public under the Arizona Public Records Law, making them public even through third-party websites.
What Are the Types of Crimes in Arizona?
Arizona has three classifications of crimes: minor offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies.
Minor offenses are usually violations and infractions that do not really constitute as a crime. For instance, traffic infractions are considered minor offenses that involve jail time of not more than 90 days and paying a fine.
Misdemeanors in Arizona are classified into Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3, with jail time extending up to 180 days or six months. Misdemeanors are less violent than felonies but are more severe than minor offenses. Some examples of misdemeanors in Arizona include
- Disorderly conduct
- Driving under the influence
- Driving on a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Damage to property not worth more than $250
- Verbal assault
Class 1 misdemeanors are the most severe class with a maximum term of six (6) months of jail time, Class 2 misdemeanors with a maximum jail time of four (4) months, and Class 3 misdemeanors with a jail time of 30 days. Depending on the severity of the crime, offenders may have to pay the following fines:
- Class 1 misdemeanors - not more than $2,500
- Class 2 misdemeanors - not more than $750
- Class 3 misdemeanors - not more than $500
Felonies are the most severe type of crime in Arizona categorized into six more classes
Class 1 - the only crimes involved are first and second-degree murder, punishable by 10 to 22 years, life imprisonment, or the death penalty.
Class 2 - crimes include drive-by shootings, armed robbery, manslaughter, manufacture of methamphetamine, sexual assault, sex trafficking, theft by extortion, and money laundering with a minimum of three (3) years imprisonment to a maximum of 35 years.
Class 3 - crimes include assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, discharging a firearm, second-degree burglary, sexual abuse of minors under age 15, and auto theft with a minimum of two (2) years of imprisonment to a maximum of 25 years.
Class 4 - crimes include theft under $4,000, robbery, certain forms of aggravated assault, forgery, and possession of narcotics with a minimum of one (1) year of imprisonment to a maximum of 15 years.
Class 5 - crimes include credit card theft or fraud of more than $1,000, stalking, and aggravated domestic violence with a minimum of six (6) months to a maximum of 7.5 years.
Class 6 - crimes include theft of property of note more than $2,000, theft of a gun, driving under the influence, or possession of drug paraphernalia. Offenders who have committed Class 6 felonies but have not committed any other felonies in the past can have their sentence lowered to a misdemeanor. On the other hand, Class 6 offenders may face jail time from four (4) months up to 69 months.
Jail times are longer for repeat offenders and for those who already have priors.
How Does Probation Work in Arizona?
Probation in Arizona allows convicted offenders to remain in the community instead of staying in prison. There are three types of probation in the state: intensive, supervised, and unsupervised.
The most common type of probation is supervised probation where offenders have to regularly check in with their probation officers and follow the rules to prevent the revocation of their probation. Under supervised probation, an offender may have to attend counseling sessions, perform community service, or work to provide for their family or pay for child support.
Intensive probation is much stricter than supervised probation, with multiple and unannounced check-ins required daily, including alcohol and drug tests. Unsupervised probation does not require regular check-ins with their probation officer and is applicable for low-level misdemeanor offenders.
However, there are some offenses that are not eligible for probation, like the following:
- Drug offenses (committing multiple felonies, selling, manufacturing)
- Dangerous crimes like assault, domestic violence, and manslaughter
- Crimes involving or against minors
- Gang affiliation
- Theft and other fraudulent schemes of over $100,000
- Rape or sexual assault
How Does Parole Work in Arizona?
Parole proceedings in Arizona are somewhat similar to probation, except that parolees are required to pay a $65 fee to their parole officer as mandated by law. Eligible inmates will undergo a parole hearing and receive parole after the following criteria:
- Behavior in prison
- Criminal history
- Current criminal sentence
- Likelihood of repeated criminal behavior
- Potential danger to public safety
Following Arizona law, parole should last until an offender’s prison sentence ends. However, a parolee may be granted early release when they accumulate enough release credits so they can be eligible for an early release
Once an inmate is given parole, they can be released early from prison when they accumulate enough release credits.
How Does Expungement Work in Arizona?
The new state laws now allow the expungement of Arizona criminal records. Once a person’s criminal records are expunged, they may state they have “never been arrested for, charged with, adjudicated or convicted of, or sentenced for the crime that is the subject of the expungement.”
To file an expungement, an offender must first finish their sentence and file an application to the judge. Note that some crimes are not eligible for expungement in Arizona, including murder, certain sexual offenses, violent offenses, and knowingly inflicting serious bodily harm to another person.
How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Arizona?
The public can request a copy of their Arizona criminal records for review from the Department of Public Safety. Court databases with a case search feature and local law enforcement agencies like police departments may also provide information on criminal records in the state.