Misdemeanor Probation

Misdemeanor probation.

Misdemeanor Probation

While all classes of misdemeanors could potentially result in incarceration, in some cases, particularly in those in which a defendant is a first-time offender, a judge may order a sentence of probation rather than incarceration. Probation may also be used in conjunction with a shorter incarceration length.

Probation allows for an offender to be returned to their community and overseen by the court while following strict rules for a certain period of time. While probation may be unsupervised for minor misdemeanor offenders, it is typically either supervised or intensive for those who committed felonies.

Probation is not the same as parole, which is when offenders are released conditionally from prison. While parolees must also follow rules and fulfill various obligations, they are supervised by the Arizona Department of Corrections, not the court, and will have already served most of a lengthy prison sentence.

Misdemeanor Probation Lengths

According to A.R.S. 13-902, unless terminated sooner, misdemeanor probation may continue for the following periods of time:

Class 1 Misdemeanor

3 Years

Class 2 Misdemeanor

2 Years

Class 3 Misdemeanor

1 Year


Additionally, if the court has required, as a condition of probation, that the defendant make restitution for any economic loss related to the defendant’s offense and that condition has not been satisfied, the court, at any time before the termination or expiration of probation, may extend the period for up to two years.

Unsupervised Probation

Unsupervised probation is, by far, the most common type of probation imposed for misdemeanors. Unsupervised probation is typically only used for offenders of low-level crimes with no other criminal history. This type of probation does not require the offender to meet with a probation officer. Instead, they are trusted to follow their court-ordered probation rules on their own.

Supervised Probation

Supervised probation requires the offender to meet regularly with their probation officer to ensure they are adhering to the rules and requirements set for them by the court.

Probation Cost

Pursuant to A.R.S. 13-901, one condition of probation is to require the offender to pay a monthly fee of at least $65. Probationers who are unable to pay may ask the court to reduce the amount of their monthly fees.

Common Rules of Probation

While the specific terms of every offender’s probation will be set by the judge on the case, many rules are common to every probation term. Commonly, offenders:

  • May not leave Arizona without permission from the probation department.
  • May not acquire a new credit card without permission from the court.
  • May not live in certain places where other felons reside.
  • May not contact friends or family with criminal records.
  • May not commit additional crimes.
  • May not change their address without prior written approval from the court.
  • May not drink or use illegal drugs.
  • May not use or possess weapons.
  • May face restrictions on internet usage.
  • May be randomly drug tested.
  • May be required to serve community service.
  • May be required to pay fines.
  • May be required to follow a curfew.
  • May be required to attend counseling or classes.

Crimes Ineligible for Probation

Arizona law permits for many crimes to be ineligible for probation. While most are serious felonies, some are misdemeanors. Misdemeanor offenses committed while already on probation are ineligible for probation.

Early Termination from Probation

The court may order an offender’s term of probation to be terminated early, or the offender may file a petition for early termination. Those who have their probation terminated early are typically model citizens who have abided by all their probation rules, paid all their required fees and fines, served at least half of their probation sentence, and completed any required counseling or classes.

Probation Violations

A probation violation will occur anytime an offender violates any term or rule of their probation sentence. Probation officers will schedule a probation violation hearing with the court for those who violate their terms. The violator will be issued a court summons or will be picked up by their probation officer. If the judge rules that a probation violation did occur, the offender may have additional, stricter terms added to their probation sentence, or they may even have their probation revoked and be incarcerated up the maximum prison range designated for their crime.



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.

Scroll to Top
This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.