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What Is a Criminal Record in Arizona?
Criminal records in Arizona are official documents detail the criminal activities of individuals convicted of crimes within the state. An individual’s criminal records describe the events around their convictions. These include details of their arrests, indictments, dispositions, and convictions. Documents describing these events are available from law enforcement agencies, courts, and detention facilities at all levels in the state.
What Is Contained in an Arizona Criminal Record?
Information providing in an Arizona criminal record include:
- The convict’s full name and known aliases
- Age/Birth date, sex, race, and other identifying personal information
- The subject’s mugshot and fingerprints
- Past and current criminal offenses and indictments
- Past and outstanding arrest warrants
- Conviction and inmate records
What are Arizona Arrest Records?
In Arizona, arrest records are official law enforcement documents describing the apprehensions and detentions of individuals alleged to commit crimes. Arrest records do not indicate culpability or admission to the felonies and/or misdemeanors they describe. They only provide proof that the named individuals were brought in for questioning and possible detained afterwards. An Arizona arrest record contains the following information:
- The name, sex, date of birth, and other identifying information of the arrested individual
- Where and when the arrest took place
- The offense responsible for the arrest
- Name of the arresting officer
- State or local detention facility where the arrestee was booked
What Is an Arizona Arrest Warrant?
An Arizona arrest warrant is a court-issued document authorizing a law enforcement officer to detain an individual. To obtain arrest warrants, law enforcement officers must demonstrate probable cause before judges (magistrate judges). An arrest warrant must have the signature of the authorizing judge. Note that Arizona law enforcement officers may arrest individuals without warrants for ongoing crimes they witnessed.
Information available in an Arizona arrest warrant include:
- Arrestee’s full name and other identifying personal information
- Alleged offense
- Possible location and time of the arrest
- Date of expiration
- Name of issuer and date of issue
What are Arizona Misdemeanors?
In Arizona, misdemeanors are minor offenses punishable by up to 6 months in a county or local jail. There are three classes of misdemeanors in the state.
- Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Prostitution is an example of a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona
- Class 2 misdemeanors are punished by up to 4 months in jail and a fine up to $750. An example of a Class 2 misdemeanor is intentionally exposing someone to a sexually transmitted disease
- Class 3 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500. This is the least serious criminal offense in Arizona. Asking an adult to buy, sell, or give you alcohol if you are under the age of 21 is a Class 3 misdemeanor in Arizona.
What are Arizona Felonies?
Arizona classifies crimes punishable by one year or longer in state prisons are felonies. There are six felony classes in the state.
- Class 1 felonies are punishable by 16 years to life in prison. The only Class 1 felonies in Arizona are first- and second-degree murder. Second-degree murder is punishable by up to 16 years in jail while first-degree murder is punishable by death or life imprisonment
- Class 2 felonies are punishable by 5 years (presumptive term) and 12.5 years (aggravated term) in prison. Producing child pornography is a Class 2 felony
- Class 3 felonies are punishable by 3.5 years (presumptive term) and 8.75 years (aggravated term) in prison. An example is growing 4 or more pounds of marijuana
- Class 4 felonies are punishable by 2.5 years (presumptive term) and 3.75 years (aggravated term) in prison. Stealing property valued between $3,000 and $4,000 is Class 4 felony in Arizona
- Class 5 felonies are felonies Arizona lawmakers have not classified. Pimping and pandering are also Class 5 felonies. The presumptive term for a Class 5 felony is 2 years while the aggravated term is 2.5 years
- Class 6 felonies are punishable by 1 year (presumptive term) and 2 years (aggravated term) in prison. In Arizona, judges can re-designated a Class 6 felony conviction as a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction
Arizona Sex Offender Listings
Arizona sex offender listings are databases of registered sex offenders living in the state. While sex offenders are registered at county level, Arizona has a statewide database of registered sex offenders. The Arizona Sex Offender Registry is managed by the state’s Department of Public Safety. Use the Offender Search feature to find registered offenders by name, city, zip code, and street address.
Arizona classifies registered sex offenders into three levels. Level 3 offenders are the most likely to reoffend while Level 1 are the least serious offenders. Arizona sex offender laws require law enforcement agencies, communities, and neighbors to get notified when convicted sex offenders are released.
- Level 1 offenders: notify only law enforcement agencies upon release
- Level 2 offenders: registered community organizations with children and organizations directly involved with children and victims of sex offenses
- Level 3 offenders: notify same groups as level 2 offenders as well as neighbors of the offenders
What is a Serious Traffic Violation?
Speeding, failure to stop for a traffic signal, reckless driving, and driving under the influence (DUI) are examples of serious traffic violations in Arizona. Arizona has civil and criminal traffic violations and each of these add a specific point to the offender’s driving record.
Civil traffic violations in Arizona include:
- Speeding – 3 points
- Failure to stop for a sign or traffic signal – 4 points
- Failure to yield the right of way – 4 points
- Driving over/parking in a gore area – 3 points
- Following another vehicle too closely – 2 points
Examples of criminal traffic violations include:
- DUI – 8 points and immediate license suspension plus jail time of no less than 10 days, community service, and a minimum fine of $1,250
- Extreme DUI – 8 points and immediate license revocation plus jail time of no less than 90 days, community service, and a minimum fine of $3,000
- Reckless driving – 8 points and possible license suspension
- Aggressive driving – 8 points and suspension of license for 30 days
- Hit-and-run – 6 points and immediate license revocation
- Any moving violation resulting in death – 6 points, license revocation for 3 years, and possible jail time
What are Conviction Records?
Arizona courts produce conviction records after trials finding individuals guilty of the charges brought against them. In Arizona, juries and judges render convictions. Conviction records are official court documents that provide details of the indictments, pleas, hearings, and sentencing of individuals involved charged with criminal felonies and misdemeanors.
What are Jail and Inmate Records
Arizona inmate and jail records are official documents providing details of inmates incarcerated in state prisons and county jails in the state. The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) oversees the operations of 10 state-run prisons and six private prisons. The records of inmates held in these facilities are maintained by the ADC. To find an inmate in an Arizona state or private prison, use the Inmate Datasearch tool provided on the ADC website.
Where to get Parole Information?
To be eligible for parole in Arizona, an inmate must complete the mandatory minimum length of their sentence or one-half or two-thirds of their sentence. The Board of Executive Clemency handles parole decisions in Arizona. Parole records are available from the ADC and searchable from the Department’s Inmate Datasearch page. The ADC has 17 parole offices all over Arizona. Members of the public can also contact these offices to enquire about parole information.
What are Probation Records?
Probation records provide information about convicts serving their sentences outside of state prisons. These official documents include details of suspended sentences, terms of convicts’ supervised release, and parole officers assigned to parolees. The Adult Probation Service Division (APSD) administers Arizona’s probation programs and services. To request probation records, contact the APSD by calling (602) 452-3460 or visiting 1501 W. Washington, Suite 344, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
What are Juvenile Criminal Records?
Juvenile criminal records provide details of juvenile cases involving criminal activities of minors. Arizona does not try juveniles as adults. The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC) oversees the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. The Department does not make juvenile records, including juvenile criminal records, public. Only select parties may request for juvenile records in Arizona. The ADJC such records only for requests including signed releases from former juveniles (aged 18 and above) or the parents/legal guardians of juveniles (under the age of 18). ADJC may also release juvenile criminal records to criminal justice agencies and related parties only when ordered by a court or mandated by a state or federal statute.
Arizona History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
The accuracy of Arizona criminal records depends on the method of recording and collecting the data included in the records. Before government records were digitized, these records were recorded paper and kept in storage. Records kept in this way may be less accurate due to human error and paper record deterioration. Arizona criminal records digitized and converted to electronic records may retain such errors. However, those recorded and preserved using computer systems usually have significantly lower error rates and are easily to retrieve.
How to Find Criminal Records in Arizona
Arizona criminal records are available in multiple state and local law enforcement and court databases. The Arizona Department of Public Safety provides statewide criminal history records upon request. Individuals can request to review their own criminal records while employers may request background checks on current and potential hires. To obtain such records, visit Criminal History Records page of the ADPS.
Local criminal histories are available from Arizona sheriff’s offices and police departments. Contact the local law enforcement agency in person or by mail to request criminal records from there. Arizona courts also have online portals hosting criminal case records. The Arizona Judicial Branch provides a publicly accessible case search tool for those looking for these records. Not all of the state’s courts contribute records to this database. Find direct links to the main pages and record search pages of non-participating courts on the Unavailable Courts page.