Alternative Sentencing in Arizona

Arizona offers alternative sentences in lieu of jail.

Alternative Sentencing in Arizona

A criminal conviction doesn’t always result in jail or prison time for a defendant. In some instances, the judge may find that an offender would be better served by alternative forms of sentencing that allow for rehabilitation rather than incarceration. Alternative sentencing can include community service, probation, house arrest, treatment programs, and fines and/or restitution.

Community Service – Community service requires the defendant to complete a specific number of hours of work in the community. This service is recorded by an official figure, such as the service program leader, and then reported to the judge.

Probation – Probation allows the defendant to serve their sentence in public, following strict rules as set by the judge. Offenders of minor crimes may be sentenced to unsupervised probation, meaning they do not need to be overseen by a probation officer. Supervised probation requires the defendant to regularly check in with a probation officer. Intensive probation is probation that takes place under highly strict community supervision. Probation can also incorporate other types of alternative sentencing, such as electronic monitoring, community service, and fines.

House Arrest – House arrest typically finds the offender remaining in their residence or the home of a responsible family member where they are electronically monitored, such as with an ankle monitor. House arrest restricts the range and behavior of the offender.

Treatment Programs – A defendant may be court-ordered to attend certain rehabilitative programs to help address underlying causes of their offense. These may be inpatient or outpatient and can include anger management classes, mental health/psychiatric counseling or treatment, and substance abuse treatment programs.

Fines/Restitution – Fines are monies paid to the government as punishment for a crime, while restitution is money paid to the victim for any monetary damages they suffered as a result of the crime.

Alternative sentencing violations are taken seriously. Penalties can include extending the sentencing terms (such as lengthening the length of probation or adding on additional community service hours) or being sent to jail.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.


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