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Violating Your Probation in Arizona – What to Expect



Violating Your Probation in Arizona – What to Expect

Probation is a form of punishment officials can levy upon those convicted of committing crimes. It is preferable to spending time in jail or prison, but you should know that committing a probation violation can land you in worse trouble.

A lot of people are probably aware that serious consequences await them after a proven probation violation. However, they may not know what penalties they may face.

In this article, we take a closer look at probation and examine the many aspects of it and everything it entails. After that, we will also look at what could happen if you violate the terms of your probation.

Please join us as we dive deeper into Arizona’s laws regarding probation and potential violations.

The Punishment of Probation

Before we get into what could happen after violating the terms of your probation, let’s take the time to learn about that form of punishment first.

Probation is a form of punishment handed down to those who have pled guilty or have been convicted of some offense. In some cases, individuals who plead guilty or have been convicted will need to spend time in either jail or prison, depending on their crimes.

The idea behind probation is to give some offenders a way to avoid incarceration. Defense attorneys may angle to secure probation for their clients during negotiations with the state. They may also request this form of punishment from the judge on behalf of their clients.

Although probation is preferable to incarceration in many ways, do note that it has downsides as well for the defendant.

For instance, probation can prove to be more expensive for the defendant. There are cases where a defendant may be required to pay restitution to the plaintiff. Depending on the probationer’s current employment status, they may find that requirement especially difficult to meet.

Another thing to note about probation is that it often lasts longer than the prison sentence someone may receive. You may deal with restrictions longer, even if you avoided incarceration.

How Long Will a Probationary Period Last?

The length of the probationary period can vary depending on several factors. Among those factors is the nature of the crime committed.

Probationary Periods for Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors often come with shorter probationary periods relative to felonies.

The shortest probationary periods are for those guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor. Examples of class 3 misdemeanors in Arizona include speeding and leaving the scene after hitting a parked car.

For class 3 misdemeanors, the guilty party’s probationary period may last for up to one year.

Next up, we have class 2 misdemeanors. Probationary periods for class 2 misdemeanors can last for up to two years. They may find you guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor in Arizona if you verbally assault someone or drive recklessly.

The maximum probationary period for a class 1 misdemeanor is three years. Offenses such as public urination, shoplifting, and driving under the influence all qualify as class 1 misdemeanors.

Probationary Periods for Felonies

Unsurprisingly, the probationary periods for more serious offenses that qualify as felonies last longer. Yet again, you see the length of the maximum probationary period increase in conjunction with the severity of the crime.

Class 5 and Class 6 felonies are included in one group for probationary periods. You may be charged with a class 5 or 6 felony if you engaged in animal cruelty, committed sexual abuse, or resisted arrest.

Committing a class 5 or 6 felony can land you a probationary period of up to three years.

The probationary period for class 4 felonies can last for four years. Crimes such as theft and possession of dangerous drugs qualify as class 4 felonies in Arizona.

Those who are guilty of committing a class 3 felony can find themselves on probation for five years. You can understand why the probationary period lasts that long, given the severity of class 3 felonies. Notable examples of class 3 felonies include stealing a car and assault with a deadly weapon.

Last up; we have the class 2 felonies. Class 2 felonies are serious offenses, and they include arson, manslaughter, and sexual assault.

Anyone convicted of a class 2 felony can expect to be on probation for a long time. The probationary period for those individuals may last for seven years, per Arizona law.

When Is a Probationary Period Terminated?

Probationary periods can last for the lengths of time mentioned above. However, the opposite may also take place. A probationary period may also be terminated before the maximum length is reached.

Certain conditions must be met before an offender’s probationary period is terminated.

For instance, an offender who must pay restitution will need to finish paying that amount first before the courts will terminate their probation.

Notably, they may extend a probationary period because of restitution payments. An offender who fails to complete the payments before their probation ends may have their probation extended.

They may extend a probationary period for up to two years for those guilty of a misdemeanor, and those who committed a felony could be up to five years.

Going back now to termination, the judge may deem it appropriate to end a person’s probationary period if they have exhibited exemplary conduct. A judge may also terminate probation if they believe that doing so will be more beneficial to society.

The judge could also take the offender’s current situation and the severity of the crime they committed when deciding whether to terminate probation. An offender who is struggling financially due to their probation may also get their sentence terminated.

Also, the offender could file a petition to have their probation terminated. Working closely with a lawyer will be necessary for those seeking that kind of relief.

What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Your Probation?

A probationary period can last for a long time. During that time, you will need to meet specific requirements, and officials will restrict some of your actions.

Some people have trouble meeting the terms of their probation. Because of that, they will now need to deal with the severe consequences stemming from a probation violation.

So, what are the penalties that they can impose on someone guilty of a probation violation? Let’s go over those penalties in the sections below.

Intensive Probation Supervision

Intensive probation supervision is one of the penalties you may face following your violation. As the term suggests, this is essentially a harsher form of probation.

Crucially, they do not remove the terms of your original probation. You will still need to follow them. The difference is that you must comply with additional rules now that you are under intensive probation supervision.

While you are under this program, they can order you to surrender all your paychecks. The government will then take money from your paychecks and use it to fulfill your financial obligations. That means they will use the money to pay the remaining restitution and any outstanding fees to the court.

Losing control over your finances is only one downside of intensive probation.

You may also be subjected to corrective and cognitive intervention carried out by the probation officers. The same officers also conduct direct field supervision. Probationers may also be in a close monitoring program that lasts for 24 hours.

Lastly, you must abide by the guidelines of intensive probation until you complete it. You get no days off from it. Fail to meet the conditions of your intensive probation, and you could face even stiffer penalties.

By the way, finishing the intensive probation program does not mean you are finished. After fulfilling the requirements of the program, you will be placed under regular probation again.

Considering how restrictive intensive probation can be, it is in your best interests to avoid it at all costs.

Additional Community Service

Many offenders are ordered to render community service as part of their sentence. If you violated the terms of your probation, they might order you to more hours of community service.

Given the other penalties you may be hit with after violating your probation, additional community service may seem like a lighter form of punishment.

Additional Fines

Individuals guilty of violating their probation may need to pay additional fines. Officials can use these additional fines to cover the costs associated with your new penalties.


The judge may have taken mercy on you previously when they sentenced you to probation instead of prison. After violating the terms of your probation, the judge may no longer afford you any leniency.

Instead of sentencing you to harsher probation, additional community service, or more significant fees, the judge may decide to send you to prison.

It is important to note here that your prison sentence will correspond to your original offense. If the way you violated the terms of your probation does not constitute a crime itself, that will not affect the length of your prison sentence.

Other Penalties

There are other penalties you may face due to your inability to complete your probationary period without incident. For example, you may need to attend special classes or wear monitoring devices.

Those penalties will place additional restrictions on your everyday life. They will make dealing with the terms of your probation even more challenging.

The Different Ways to Commit a Probation Violation

What constitutes a probation violation? Basically, any action that goes against the terms of your probation is equivalent to a violation.

Probation violations can be quite varied, though. That is because the terms of probation imposed can differ from one person to the next.

Detailed below are some of the more common kinds of probation violations.

Drinking Alcohol

If you are an adult, drinking alcohol is not an issue. However, you may be guilty of a serious offense if you got behind the wheel of your car and drove while intoxicated.

DUI violations are always taken seriously in Arizona. Still, if you have no prior history of drunk drinking, the judge may take it easy on you by placing you on your probation. Still, the judge may order you to refrain from drinking alcohol for the duration of the probationary period.  Get caught drinking, and you may face some severe consequences.

Missing a Drug Test

The terms of your current probation may require you to submit to drug testing. That could be because your original offense was related to selling or using dangerous drugs.

In any case, you should always make time for those drug tests. Missing even one test can be a big problem. Obviously, registering a positive result on a drug test also means that you violated your probation.

Tampering with a Monitoring Device

Individuals convicted of driving under the influence are often required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This device prevents the vehicle from starting if it detects a specific amount of alcohol in your breath.

Tampering with that device is not allowed. If you are on probation, tampering with that device may constitute a violation.

You should also avoid tampering with any other monitoring devices that you may have been ordered to use.

Failing to Pay Fees

Remember those fees that the court ordered you to pay? Failing to pay them is equivalent to a probation violation.

Right from the start, clear up the terms of the payment plan with the other side and make sure you can meet them. You can also renegotiate if your employment status changes.

By the way, falling behind on your court fees can be considered a probation violation.

Failing to Show Up in Court

When you have a specific date to show up in court, you must be there. Failing to appear in court at the designated time is another example of a probation violation.

As a defendant, you may also check in with the judge periodically as part of your probation. Make sure you fulfill that obligation as well.

Are you being accused of violating the terms of your probation? Fight against those allegations by partnering with an experienced attorney. Contact us at the Schill Law Group and allow us to help with your legal troubles.

Is Urinating in Public a Crime?

Is Urinating in Public a Crime?



Is Urinating in Public a Crime?

The call of nature is not something we can ignore for long. Most of the time, heeding the call is no problem, but that’s not the case when you’re in public. As you’ll soon learn, engaging in public urination is not a good idea.


The state of Arizona has laws in place that discourage urinating in public. Even if you don’t know about them, you can still be found in violation of them by the court.

Find out more about the laws regarding public urination in Arizona by reading on. By the time you finish this article, you’ll understand why you should never try to answer the call of nature anywhere outside of a restroom.

Public Urination According to Arizona Law

As noted earlier, the state of Arizona has laws that actively discourage people from urinating in public. You can find the laws concerning public urination in Arizona in Title 36 of the state’s revised statutes.

Title 36 of Arizona law outlines public health and safety guidelines for the state. Found in Title 36 is Chapter 6, which governs public health control.

Take a closer look at Article 1 in Chapter 6, and you’ll find the conditions that the state of Arizona considers to be public nuisances that are dangerous to public health. To be more specific, paragraph 13 in Article 1 notes that spitting or urinating on floors, sidewalks, and walls of buildings, are all public nuisances.

The same paragraph notes that spitting or urinating on the floors and/or platforms of public forms of transportation can also be public nuisances. You can say the same thing for spitting or urinating on any other part of public transportation.

Why Do People Urinate in Public?

Deciding to urinate in public is not a good idea. You don’t need a law to tell you as much.

So, why do people still urinate in public? There are several potential explanations.

In many cases, someone decides it’s a good idea to urinate in public because they’ve already had too much to drink. Being intoxicated often causes people to become more susceptible to making bad decisions. That’s part of the reason why way too many people engage in irresponsible and dangerous activities such as drunk driving.

Some folks also tend to think that urinating in public is okay after a night of partying. With the bathrooms in the bar or club crowded, partygoers may decide to head outside to relieve themselves, which is not a smart move.

Some people do not regard urinating in public as a big deal. Urine may not be a hazardous substance, but it can still be an irritant. The smell can be off-putting especially if the urine is not cleared away quickly.

People can come up with all kinds of reasons or justifications for why they decided to urinate in public. At the end of the day though, you’re still violating Arizona law if you engage in that activity no matter what reason you have.

penalties for urinating in public

What Are the Penalties for Public Urination in Arizona?

The next time you get the idea to urinate in public, take a moment to think about the penalties you may potentially face. Public urination is considered as a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. That means you could be looking at some serious penalties because of your poor judgment.

First off, those who are found guilty of urinating in public may face jail time. They may be ordered to spend six months in jail. Notably, six months is the maximum jail sentence for your first violation, so there’s a chance that you can negotiate the length of the sentence down.

You should also know that the court may order you to serve your full sentence. Loopholes that could have given you a way out of jail sentence may be sealed shut by that court order.

Jail time is not the only thing you have to worry about if you urinate in public. In addition to that penalty, you may also pay a fine. The fine for a violation such as that is no lower than $150 and it can also go as high as $2,500.

Violators may also receive probation time. You may be put on probation for up to three years due to your public urination charge.

A class 1 misdemeanor violation can also hurt you in other ways. Remember that your conviction will stay on your criminal record. That blemish on your criminal record may make it harder for you to find a job later on.

Lastly, the penalties may grow worse for subsequent misdemeanor violations. You could find yourself in some hot water if you continue to disregard the laws regarding public urination.

How Do You Fight Public Urination Charges?

The penalties linked to public urination can be as bad as the ones stemming from a DUI charge. You cannot shrug off a public urination charge and hope that things will work out for you. Instead, you need to be proactive and fight against the charges.

The first thing you need to do once you learn that authorities are planning to press charges is to find a lawyer. Getting a lawyer is a good idea in any legal scenario, but it’s even more important here, considering what you’re up against.

A lawyer can help you fight against a public urination charge in different ways. Let’s discuss them further below.

Casting Doubt on the Police Officer’s Testimony

In a case such as this, the authorities will need to prove that you urinated in public. You might assume that you’re in the clear because you didn’t urinate in public, but the police may be insistent on their point. They may believe that you committed a violation because they could not see what you were doing and got the wrong idea.

If it’s going to be your word against police testimony, you will probably need some help. That’s where the lawyer comes in.

Your lawyer can help formulate defenses against the mistaken testimony of the police. After examining the facts of your case, your lawyer can start poking holes in the testimony of the police. If there are any inconsistencies in the testimony, an experienced lawyer can identify them.

Gathering Evidence Disproving Your Public Urination Charge

The best evidence the police may come up with to mistakenly charge you with public urination is their own testimony. It’s true that their testimonies often hold a lot of weight with juries, but it’s not without fault. Police officers can still make mistakes.

With a good lawyer by your side, the two of you can work on gathering evidence that disproves the notion that you were urinating in public. Your lawyer can get in touch with any establishments near the area and ask if they have video footage that could help in your case. They may also approach the police themselves and seek footage from their cameras to determine what they saw.

People at the scene where you were supposedly urinating in public may also be willing to vouch for your innocence. Your lawyer can get in touch with them and ask them to provide statements.

The bottom line here is that public urination charges against you won’t stick if you truly didn’t commit that violation. Work with a lawyer to uncover the evidence that proves your innocence and put this unpleasant ordeal behind you.

Preparing You for the Upcoming Trial

One more reason why you need the help of a lawyer when fighting against a public urination charge is the likelihood that the case will head to trial. This is not the type of case where the police or the prosecutors are typically willing to negotiate. Often, cases that involve public urination go to trial, and you need to prepare for that.

Your lawyer can help prepare you for that upcoming court date. A competent lawyer can coach you in court and make the case for the truth. They will let the facts speak for themselves, and that will be to your benefit.

Since some folks may think that a trial for public urination is not a big deal, they may want to represent themselves. Doing that is risky. You could end up losing a case you should win.

Give yourself the best chance of beating a bogus public urination charge by working with a lawyer.

Could You Face an Indecent Exposure Charge along with a Public Urination Charge?

Urinating in public is something you should never do. It’s inappropriate, unsanitary, and potentially costly for you from a legal standpoint.

We’ve already outlined how a public urination charge can affect you, but that’s not the only thing you need to worry about. You may also receive an indecent exposure charge depending on what happened while you were urinating in public.

Because of how intoxicated you were, you may not have been aware of the actions you were making at the time. Even if you did so without fully knowing what you were doing, you still may have exposed yourself to others while you were urinating.

According to Arizona Law, a person who exposes their genitals in a way that would offend or alarm another person can receive a charge for indecent exposure. Whether you were fueled by alcohol or not, doing something like that can put you in a tough spot.

What Are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure in Arizona?

Indecent exposure is a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. Like public urination, the penalties for indecent exposure can impact you in a variety of ways.

Jail time is something you need to worry about again. Remember that the maximum jail sentence for someone who commits a class 1 misdemeanor is six months.

Fines will also be imposed on those who are found guilty of indecent exposure. The minimum fine is $150, but you may pay as much as $2,500.

Probation is another penalty often handed down to individuals found guilty of indecent exposure. You may be put on probation for up to three years due to your violation.

Don’t forget about the mark on your criminal record that an indecent exposure conviction will leave behind. You may have a hard time landing a job with that mark on your record.

How the Penalties for Indecent Exposure Can Get Worse

The penalties for indecent exposure can get worse, depending on the circumstances.

If this wasn’t the first time, you will face tougher penalties as a result. A person guilty of indecent exposure may receive harsher penalties if they exposed themselves to someone under fifteen years of age.

The indecent exposure charge may no longer be a class 1 misdemeanor. Instead, it may be a class 6 felony.

The charge elevating to a felony means that the sentence you serve may change. Six months in jail is no longer the maximum punishment you may receive.

After being charged with a class 6 felony, you could be looking at a potential six -month stay in prison. You should also know that the standard prison sentence for a class 6 felony is one year in prison while the maximum sentence is eighteen months.

Things can spiral out of control in a hurry after a momentary lapse in judgment that led to you thinking urinating in public is acceptable behavior. Avoid that activity altogether and save yourself from a lot of potential problems.

It’s a different matter if your issues are stemming from false accusations. You’ll need a lawyer in that scenario. Get in touch with us at the Schill Law Group, and we’ll fight to ensure that you are not found guilty of a bogus public urination charge.