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Arizona Superior Court in Pima County


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Probation is a sanction that’s been ordered by the court system. A person is put on probation when they’ve been found guilty of committing a crime.  Probation lets a person stay in their community, so long as they’re being supervised by a probation officer and they remain compliant with their conditions of probation.  If a person chooses to not comply with probation, they will likely receive sanctions or have their probation revoked and will serve their original sentenced time in jail or prison.

Probation conditions vary from person to person and case to case, and can include:

Community service



Jail time

Reporting to the probation officer


Restrictions on: drug and alcohol use, residence, travel, weapons

Warrantless Search and Seizure

There are three types of probation:

  1. Serving time in jail or prison and then being put on probation after completing that time. Often, the incarceration time is shortened because the offender will be on probation.

  2. Going on probation instead of being incarcerated. As long as probation is completed successfully, the offender can skip their jail time. If probation is revoked, then the original jail or prison sanction is imposed.

  3. Having two charges and being sentenced to jail or prison on one of those charges, and then receiving probation on the other charge to be enforced after the jail or prison time has been completed.  If that probation is revoked, then additional jail or prison time will be imposed.

Not taking probation seriously is a huge mistake. The point of probation is making sure that the public is safe – if someone disregards an aspect of their probation, then the public may not be as safe as possible. When somebody breaks the rules of their probation, they have to go in front of the judge again. Ultimately, the person can be sent to prison or jail for breaking probation rules.

Probation officers supervise and often meet with a person who’s on probation. Their job responsibilities include:

Assessing the person on probation for needs they should have met.

Assessing the person on probation for risks they may pose.

Visiting the home of the person on probation.

Helping the person to make sure they have access to any services they may need.

Monitoring the person to make sure that they’re following court orders.

Overseeing the person’s rehabilitation.

Preparing recommendations and reports that the court will use in their judgement.

Supporting the person to help them get their life back on track.

Giving drug tests to make sure the person has not been drinking alcohol or doing drugs.


Oftentimes, probation officers don’t simply have to keep the offending person on track. They also have to handle a variety of problems that require specialized responses from the Court, including drug and alcohol abuse, gang involvement, child abuse, mental illness, domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Parole is a conditional release of a prisoner before the end of a prison sentence. Probation is an alternative to incarceration for selected defendants who meet certain criteria.

No, In fact, some offenders choose to serve their sentence in prison in order to avoid probation supervision.

Probation has strict regulations and accountability requirements. Probationers must obey the law and be employed or enrolled in school. Most are required to pay restitution, court costs, fine and fees, as well as work a number of hours doing unpaid community service. They may not change jobs or move without the probation officer's permission. Drug testing is required to document they are not abusing alcohol or drugs. Treatment is required for those with a history of drug use. Education is required for those who are illiterate or do not have a high school diploma. The probationer may be ordered to pay the cost or a portion of the cost of treatment.

Yes. As a condition of probation, probationers must agree to give the probation officer access to their residence, car, or area where they work. Officers may search anytime they have reason to believe contraband or evidence may be present. A search warrant is not required.

Yes. Arizona probation officers are peace officers and may make arrests without a warrant. Their jurisdiction is limited to persons on probation, however they may request assistance from other law enforcement agencies if they believe a crime has been committed.

Public protection. Probation officers strive to assist probationers to live lawful and productive lives, however they will not compromise public safety. They have the responsibility to arrest and request revocation of probationers who demonstrate an unwillingness to obey the law.

Yes. They will do as much as possible to assist the probationer to be lawful and productive. The probation officer can be the best friend the probationer has ever had, while requiring responsible behavior and accountability.

Probationers are required to pay a monthly fee of between $65 and $75 per month. This fee pays a portion of the cost of probation services.