A sexual offense in Arizona has the potential to follow you for the rest of your life. Not only in terms of criminal record and reputation but also in harsh probation terms and constant monitoring. Lifetime probation with sex offender terms varies from state to state but can be particularly harsh in the state of Arizona. Prosecutors, judges, and juries are often extremely aggressive when dealing with a sexual offender. That is why it is so important that you get a qualified Phoenix criminal defense attorney on your side immediately.
Lifetime probation with sex offender terms essentially labels what is permitted after a defendant receives a charge for a sexually-related offense. These conditions are in place for many reasons. For one, they serve the purpose of deterring future crimes, protecting the public, and providing rehabilitation for the defendant. Lifetime supervision also allows probation officers to remain aware of the conduct of the defendant.
Belén Olmedo Guerra at Belén Law Firm understands what all is at stake with this kind of charge. She is more than prepared to help you through the legal process and fight to get you the best outcome possible. In this post, we’ll explain more about lifetime probation with sex offender terms and what it might mean for you.
What does lifetime probation mean?
In Arizona, probation is a form of punishment that may be implemented for those found guilty of both misdemeanor or felony charges. Generally, people consider probation as an alternative to prison time and as a “lesser” penalty. Under ARS 13-901, probation applies to any offender placed on community supervision through a probation agency. Considered by some to be a more cost-effective way to punish criminals, rules for probation in Arizona can be very confusing.
Depending on the crime, probation terms can vary significantly in length. You might expect the average probation sentence to last anywhere between six months to seven years. Those found guilty of an aggravated DUI will need to serve a sentence even longer than that, running up to 10 years. You can find the state’s legislation regarding periods of probation in ARS 13-902.
There are certain crimes that get punished more severely than others in terms of probation. Crimes involving gangs, white-collar crimes (see: Standard Probation with White Collar Terms), domestic violence, and sexual abuse are some of these. If you get charged with any of these crimes, the amount of supervision required significantly jumps. Your everyday life will essentially be under a microscope.
Failure to obey even the simplest terms for these charges can result in your probation getting revoked. If they find you are in violation of any term or condition, you may end up in prison.
Of these, perhaps the most penalized crime for probation in Arizona is any sex offense or sexually motivated crime. This often brings a lifetime probation term.
Why would someone be on lifetime probation?
Probation is often assigned as part of sentencing for criminal behavior or activity. While it’s more common to punish misdemeanors with probation rather than jail time, Arizona provides the possibility of felony probation (see: Probation Violation for Felony Offense). As mentioned before, the main reason someone might receive lifetime probation is if the crime was sexually motivated. When someone refers to sex crimes, they could be talking about any of the following crimes:
- Child Molestation
- Sex Abuse
- Internet Child Pornography
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Cyber Crimes
- Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC)
- Indecent Exposure / Public Sexual Indecency
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Misconduct
What does lifetime sex offender mean?
Once convicted of a sex offense, you will need to undergo a psychological evaluation or risk assessment to determine if you pose a threat to society and are able to remain in the community. If the testing shows that you are a low risk, the court may determine you a good candidate for probation. However, you will still need to remain registered as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Lifetime probation with sex offender terms can bring many limitations. It can limit your travel, employment opportunities, curfew, and computer usage. Standard probation with computer terms are often only reserved for those convicted of sex crimes. The regulations on computer usage can even limit the devices you are able to use. A lifetime sex offender charge may also prevent any contact with a minor, including your own children. In addition, you must undergo counseling and treatment sessions for years to come.
Your best shot at avoiding a sexual offense charge and the limitations that come along with it is to hire a skilled Phoenix criminal defense attorney like Belén. She will do everything in her power to reduce your charges or have them dropped altogether.
What does lifetime supervised release mean?
Lifetime supervised release is a special sentence required for those convicted of sex crimes. The supervised release begins immediately following any term of probation, parole, or release from custody. The difference between this and probation is that lifetime supervised release occurs AFTER an individual gets released from prison. Meanwhile, an individual serves probation as an alternative to prison.
There are some crimes that don’t permit probation as an option. The state of Arizona has a mandatory sentencing law that requires a term of prison anywhere from 5-14 years for the sexual offense of rape. If the offense involved a child or children, the prison term will increase to 13-27 years. In this case, once you do get released from prison, you may likely receive lifetime supervised release.
Can lifetime probation get revoked?
Adults (or minors charged as adults) may receive lifetime probation as a consequence of serious criminal activity. However, lifetime probation doesn’t always last as long as you might expect.
As confusing as it sounds, lifetime probation with sex offender terms doesn’t necessarily mean the sentence will last for life. This is because it is possible to petition the court and request that your probation term get terminated. Depending on the severity of the crime in question, you may be eligible to terminate your probation. The judge, prosecutor, and counselors heading your case will look at a few factors to determine whether your lifetime probation should receive the benefit of an expunged record.
Factors that the court will consider include your previous performance during probation and whether you might pose a risk to offend again. They will also take into account your therapist’s recommendations as well as the views and opinions of the victim. Believe it or not, many people have gotten off of lifetime probation. Having an aggressive sex crime defense attorney during this process will push you toward a more favorable outcome.
Contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Belén Today
Penalties for sexual offenses can be extreme, especially in Arizona. Only an experienced attorney can thoroughly explain your situation and inform you of your best course of action in this type of case. At Belén Law Firm, we offer aggressive criminal defense for all of our clients. If you have any more questions about lifetime probation with sex offender terms, contact us today. You may do so by giving us a call at 602-715-0908 or filling out a short form online to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation.