Misdemeanor Compromise: A.R.S. 13-3981
A misdemeanor compromise may occur when the victim of a crime wishes for the charges against the offender of the crime to be dismissed. This choice is entirely voluntary on the part of the victim and typically only occurs after the defendant has paid any victim compensation in full.
Misdemeanor compromises allow for a balance of criminal and civil law, as they allow misdemeanor criminal cases to result in a civil action in which the victim is satisfied by a specific compromise, such as an amount of money (restitution), a formal apology, or various counseling or classes.
According to A.R.S. 13-3981, misdemeanor or petty offenses that can be remedied through civil action may be compromised as a misdemeanor compromise except:
- When the offense was committed by, or upon, any officer of justice while in the execution of the duties of his office.
- When the offense was committed riotously.
- When the offense was committed with the intent to commit a felony.
If, at any time before the criminal trial, the victim acknowledges before the court that they have received satisfaction for their injury, the court may, if all costs incurred have been paid in full, dismiss the prosecution and discharge the defendant.
Victims that choose to take this route must sign an official misdemeanor compromise before a notary public which is reviewed by the prosecutor and ultimately decided upon by the judge.
Offenses Not Eligible for Misdemeanor Compromise
The following criminal offenses are ineligible for misdemeanor compromise:
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