Community Court in Arizona

Community court.

Community Court in Arizona

Various courts within the state of Arizona offer specialty court programs designed to help certain defendants who may benefit from alternative justice systems rather than that which is offered in typical criminal justice courts.

Community Court is one such alternative court program offered by some Arizona courts for those with lesser criminal offenses. Community Court typically encourages collaboration with an entire team that may include social workers, care providers, and case managers in addition to the attorneys and judge in order to better aid those suffering from homelessness, economic hardship, or other issues. Often, cases that are handled through Community Court redirect defendants to diversion programs where they can receive specialized treatment, support, or rehabilitation rather than jail.

Every court and jurisdiction can choose to offer alternative court programs, including Community Court. Likewise, each Community Court sets its own guidelines for eligibility and components.

If you are a defendant in a case that you think may be a fit for Community Court, reach out to Rideout Law Group or the court directly to learn if your court offers Community Court and if you may be a good fit for the program.

Mesa Municipal Court – Community Court

Community Court within Mesa Municipal Court serves defendants struggling with homelessness, mental health issues, and drug or alcohol issues. The court’s team includes judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, homeless navigators, regional care providers, and staff that specialize in social issues. A diversion program is utilized as incentive for the defendants in the program.

Tucson City Court – Tucson Community Court

Participation in Community Court within Tucson City Court is on an entirely voluntary basis and eligible to those in the 85705 and 95701 zip codes. Tucson Community Court uses the collaboration of criminal justice and the community to increase public safety. Defendants in the program develop connections with people and services to help them move out of the criminal justice system.

Only certain offenses are eligible for Tucson Community Court: drinking in public, 2nd and 3rd degree criminal trespass, soliciting in a median, public smoking of marijuana, parks charges, public urination/defecation, shoplifting, unlawful paraphernalia possession, false reporting, and city code non-victim criminal charges.

Phoenix Municipal Court – Community Court

Phoenix’s Community Court program addresses defendants suffering from economic, addiction, or behavioral health issues. Participation is voluntary and participants must be actively involved in all required aspects in order to remain in the program. Prosecutors may exercise discretion in favor of defendants with active participation in order to provide them positive rehabilitation and help them get back on their feet.

Not all offenses are eligible for Community Court. Defendants may only have misdemeanor charges and “there must be a nexus between the crime charged and the person’s lack of access to reliable shelter.”  Defendants charged with other crimes, such as felonies, DUIs, public sexual indecency, and domestic violence are not eligible for Community Court.

Maricopa County Superior Court – Maricopa County Regional Homeless Court

Maricopa County offers the Regional Homeless Court as a court program to homeless defendants with misdemeanor and warrant charges. Defendants must be enrolled in a program with a qualified program provider and have nearly completed all their case plan requirement. Case managers must apply to Regional Homeless Court on behalf of the applicant, with each having their own requirements to apply. Typically, applicants must be sober, working toward employment, and have found housing. The defendant’s warrants, fines, and fees will be quashed once restitution hours are completed. Defendants will be supported with various social services.

Defendants will not be eligible if they have active felony warrants, crimes with mandatory sentencing provision, or crimes where a victim has invoked their rights.



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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