Arizona’s criminal courts have a reasonable amount of flexibility in sentencing those convicted of crimes. Under a variety of circumstances, a judge may sentence a convicted individual to community service rather than incarceration or fines or in addition to incarceration or fines. The court considers the nature of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history before making a decision to sentence someone to community service. The availability of community service hours as an option for sentencing for various convictions also depends on the jurisdiction within Arizona’s criminal justice system.
Courts or other regulatory bodies may impose a number of hours for a convicted individual to perform unpaid service work within their community as a means of rehabilitation as well as a punishment for convicted crimes. Not only does this provide a deterrent for the commission of further crimes, but it’s also meant to instill a sense of civic duty, pride in accomplishment, and empathy for others in convicted criminals as a means of rehabilitation. In addition, assigning community service hours provides a substantial benefit of unpaid man hours to community organizations, charities, and public services.
A community service sentence is limited to specific circumstances in Arizona including under the following conditions:
When community service is a viable option rather than fines or imprisonment, the community benefits from the individual’s service. Studies show that keeping a convicted individual occupied with beneficial work reduces the likelihood that they’ll commit further crimes, at least during the period of community service work.
Most jurisdictions in the Arizona Criminal Justice System provide ample opportunities for community service work including but not limited to the following:
A community service sentence gives many convicted individuals their first experience in giving back to the community—typically the same community they harmed in some way by committing crimes. The type of community service assigned to an individual depends on their abilities and physical health as well as those considered appropriate for the circumstances of their crime. A Phoenix criminal defense attorney can help evaluate your legal case and determine if your circumstances qualify.