What Types Of Probation Are There?

There are many penalties associated with criminal convictions in Arizona, which includes everything from jail time, fines, and court costs. Another possible outcome of these cases is probation. While still a punishment, this option is widely preferred over spending time behind bars.

Every case is different, and there are different types of probation in Arizona to fit each scenario. In general, the process varies based on how closely a person is monitored. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can advise you on how best to proceed with your situation.


There are three different types of probation under Arizona law, which are supervised, unsupervised, and intensive options. The purpose of each of these programs is to provide consequences to a person convicted of a crime while allowing them to rehabilitate within the community as an alternative to incarceration.

Typically, probation is included in the terms of a plea bargain and a judge also has the power to order it as part of sentencing at trial. In some cases, it can be included with jail time as part of a sentence.


Most of the time, these programs involve some level of supervision. Probationers are required to check in on a regular basis with officers of the court. This is done to ensure that all the requirements set by a judge are followed. These officers could perform drug or alcohol tests, certify a person’s living arrangement, or otherwise ensure they are meeting the conditions issued by the court.


There is an additional level of supervision: when a person is facing intensive scrutiny, they are strictly limited by the court in what they can do. This usually means remaining in their home outside of school or work hours. Paying restitution to a victim is also a common requirement.


The use of unsupervised options is rare. Most of the time, judges will require some kind of accountability for a person as they avoid incarceration. In this scenario, the probationer is given a list of rules to comply with, but they are not required to check in with an officer. Typically reserved for minor offenses like misdemeanors, violations typically only happen when a person is arrested for another offense.


It is important to remember that not every criminal conviction has the potential for probation. The court is barred from ordering probation as opposed to incarceration in these cases. They generally involve acts or threats of violence. Some examples include the following:

  • Dangerous offenses
  • Manufacturing dangerous drugs
  • Selling drugs in a school zone
  • Felonies related to promoting a street gang
  • Most dangerous crimes involving children
  • Methamphetamine offenses

There might be different types of probation available under Arizona law, but not for people charged with these crimes. One of the benefits of relying on experienced legal counsel is they could negotiate with the state to reduce charge to an offense that allows for probation.


For many people, avoiding time behind bars is the best possible outcome in their criminal case. While probation can make that possible, it also results in additional legal jeopardy if you fail to comply with the rules. An experienced defense attorney from Grand Canyon Law Group can advise you of the different types of probation in Arizona and make certain you comply with the rules.