Commutation of Sentence in Arizona
Many felony crimes in Arizona incur mandatory minimum sentences. However, some people convicted of felony crimes are sentenced to a term that is not mandatory. In these cases, a certain amount of time served can allow them to petition for a commutation to reduce the terms of the original sentence.
- A commutation of sentence can potentially reduce prison sentences, and can also reduce any court-ordered fines. Commuting a sentence does not have any effect on civil liabilities you might incur, like financial judgments in favor of victims or victims’ families.
- You must have served at least two years of your sentence, and not be within one year of your release, in order to be considered for a commutation of sentence.
If you or a loved one has served at least two years of a prison sentence more than three years in length, it may be wise to inquire about the possibility of a commutation of sentence. In order to do this, we recommend consulting an experienced, reputable defense attorney in Phoenix AZ who understands the commutation process in Arizona. You should also seek out an aggressive defense attorney in Phoenix AZ who will fight to make sure your rights are upheld during the commutation process.
Is a Commutation a Pardon?
No, it is not. There are some significant differences between a commutation and a pardon.
- A pardon is forgiveness for a crime, whereas commutation only reduces the sentence resulting from being found guilty of committing a crime
- A pardon restores your civil rights, like voting and being able to own a firearm, but a commutation does not
- A pardon can have little to do with the prisoner him or herself, but instead involve a wide range of motivations, like a president pardoning a high ranking official—whereas a commutation usually has to do with good behavior, an unusually harsh sentence, or credit for time served that was not originally recognized
- A pardon requires consent from the prisoner directly, while a commutation does not
Even though a commutation does not absolve a crime like a pardon does, it is still better than the alternative, which is, of course, serving a full prison sentence behind bars.
Other Forms of Commutation of Sentence in Arizona
The state of Arizona allows our governor to commute:
- The death penalty into a life sentence for an inmate on death row
- Consecutive sentences (or serving multiple sentences back-to-back) into concurrent sentences (or serving them all at the same time)
Many times, there are stipulations if a commutation is granted, like probation. If someone violates the terms of his or her commutation, then punishment up to and including the full original sentence can result.
Trust Laboy Law Defense Attorney in Phoenix AZ
Commutations require a tremendous amount of procedure and paperwork. Because of this, it is essential to consult a defense attorney with proven experience successfully navigating the commutation process. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that they are being upheld throughout the entire commutation process. If you are looking for an aggressive, experienced defense attorney in Phoenix AZ to help you navigate your way through the commutation of sentence process in Arizona, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-777-3368.