USA Statutes : arizona
Title : Justices of the Peace and Other Courts Not of Record
Chapter : CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS IN JUSTICE COURTS
22-301 Jurisdiction of criminal actions
A. The justice of the peace courts shall have jurisdiction of the following
offenses committed within their respective precincts in which such courts are
established, subject only to the right to change of venue as provided by law:
1. Misdemeanors and criminal offenses punishable by a fine not exceeding two
thousand five hundred dollars, or imprisonment in the county jail for not to exceed six
months, or by both a fine and imprisonment. A penalty assessment levied pursuant to
section 12-116.01 or 12-116.02 shall not be considered as part of the fine for purposes
of determining jurisdiction. The amount of restitution or incarceration costs shall not
be considered as part of the fine for purposes of determining jurisdiction.
2. Felonies, but only for the purpose of commencing action and conducting
proceedings through preliminary examinations and holding the defendant to answer to the
superior court or to discharge the defendant if it appears that there is not probable
cause to believe the defendant is guilty of an offense.
B. For purposes of subsection A of this section, an offense is committed within the
precinct of a justice of the peace court if conduct constituting any element of the
offense or a result of such conduct occurs within the precinct.
22-302 Venue when justice unable to act
If the justice of the peace of the precinct in which the crime is alleged to have
been committed is absent therefrom, or for any reason is unable to act, the prosecution
may be commenced in any precinct within the county designated by the justice of the peace
or in the absence of the justice of the peace in any precinct designated by the presiding
judge of the superior court.
22-303 Change of venue; limitation
A. If the action or proceeding is in a justice of the peace court, a change of the
place of trial may be had no later than twenty days before the first trial date if a
party requests a change of venue and either:
1. It appears from the affidavit of the defendant that he has reason to believe and
does believe that he cannot have a fair and impartial trial before the justice of the
peace about to try the case by reason of the prejudice or bias of such justice. If the
affidavit is filed in the action, the action shall be transferred to the justice of the
peace of an adjoining precinct.
2. It appears from affidavits filed in the action that the defendant cannot have a
fair and impartial trial by reason of the prejudice of the citizens of the precinct. The
cause shall be transferred to a justice of a precinct where the same prejudice does not
B. Not more than one change of place of trial shall be allowed any defendant in any
one proceeding or action.
22-304 Transmittal of papers upon change of venue; trial
When a change of the place of trial is ordered, the justice of the peace shall
transmit to the justice of the peace before whom the trial is to be had all original
papers in the proceeding or action, with a certified copy of the minutes of his
proceedings. Upon receipt thereof, the justice of the peace to whom they are delivered
shall proceed with the trial as if the proceeding or action had been originally commenced
in his court.
22-311 Commencement of action; arrest or summons; examination of witnesses
A. All proceedings and actions before justice of the peace courts for public
offenses of which such courts have jurisdiction shall be commenced by complaint, under
oath, setting forth the offense charged, with such particulars of time, place, person and
property as to enable defendant to understand distinctly the character of the offense
complained of and to answer the complaint.
B. If the justice of the peace is satisfied that the offense complained of was
committed by the person charged, he shall issue a summons or a warrant of arrest. Before
issuing a summons or warrant of arrest on a complaint the justice may subpoena and
examine witnesses as to the truth of the complaint.
22-312 Criminal docket
A criminal docket shall be kept by the justice of the peace in which there shall be
entered each action and proceedings of the court therein.
The rules of criminal procedure for the superior court, including the provisions
regarding bail, issuance of subpoenas and punishment for disobedience thereof shall apply
to justice of the peace courts so far as applicable and when not otherwise prescribed.
The defendant, at any time after arrest, and before conviction, shall be admitted to
The defendant shall plead either by a plea of guilty, not guilty, once in jeopardy,
former conviction or acquittal of the offense charged, pleaded either with or without a
plea of not guilty. The plea shall be oral and entered in the minutes.
22-316 Plea of guilty; examination to determine gravity of offense
If the defendant pleads guilty, the court may, before entering such plea or
pronouncing judgment, examine witnesses to ascertain the gravity of the offense
committed, and if it appears that a higher offense has been committed than the offense
charged in the complaint, the court may order defendant committed or admitted to bail to
answer any indictment which may be found against him by the grand jury or any information
which may be filed by the county attorney.
22-317 Plea of not guilty
Upon a plea other than a plea of guilty, if no party demands a trial by jury, and a
postponement or change of venue is not granted, the court shall proceed to try the
22-318 Postponement of trial
Before commencement of a trial in justice of peace and police courts, either party
may, upon good cause shown, have a reasonable postponement thereof.
22-319 Presence of defendant
The defendant shall be personally present before the trial proceeds.
22-320 Trial by jury; forming jury
A. A trial by jury shall be had if demanded by either the state or
defendant. Unless the demand is made at least five days before commencement of the
trial, a trial by jury shall be deemed waived.
B. Upon demand being made for a jury trial, the justice of the peace or presiding
officer of a police court shall issue an order directed to the sheriff of the county, or
to any constable, marshal, policeman or member of the court staff to summon the number of
qualified persons specified in the order to appear at the time and place therein fixed to
serve as jurors in the action. If the required number of jurors do not appear, an
additional order or orders may be issued.
22-321 Challenges to jury and jurors
A. The challenges taken by either party to the panel of jurors or to any individual
juror shall be as on trials in the superior court.
B. The challenge shall in all cases be tried by the court.
22-322 Oath of jury
The court shall administer to the jury the following oath: "You do swear that you
will well and truly try this issue between the state of ARIZONA and defendant, and will
render a true verdict according to the evidence."
22-323 Trial before jury; charging jury on facts prohibited
A. After the jury is sworn, it shall hear the proceedings which shall be in public
and in the presence of defendant.
B. The court shall decide all questions of law which arise in the course of the
trial, but shall not charge the jury with respect to matters of fact.
22-324 Verdict of jury; officer in charge of jury during deliberation
A. After hearing the evidence of the offense of which defendant is charged, the
jury may give its verdict in court or may retire for consideration.
B. If the jury does not immediately agree, an officer shall be sworn to take charge
of the jury as in trials of criminal actions in the superior court.
22-325 Verdict; entry; several defendants; partial verdict
A. The verdict of the jury shall be either "guilty" or "not guilty."
B. When the jury has agreed on its verdict, it shall deliver the verdict publicly
to the court who shall enter or cause it to be entered in the minutes.
C. When several defendants are tried together, if the jury cannot agree upon a
verdict as to all defendants, it may render a verdict as to those in regard to whom it
does agree, on which a judgment shall be entered accordingly, and the action as to the
other defendants may be tried by another jury.
22-326 Discharge of jury; retrial of action
The jury shall not be discharged after the action is submitted to it until it has
agreed upon and rendered its verdict, unless for good cause the court sooner discharges
it. If the jury is discharged, the court may proceed again to the trial, in the same
manner as upon the first trial, until a verdict is rendered.
22-327 Acquittal; discharge of defendant; payment of costs by complainant when prosecution malicious
A. When defendant is acquitted either by the court or the jury, he shall be
B. If the court certifies in the minutes that the prosecution was malicious or
without probable cause, it may order the complainant to pay the costs of the action, or
to give satisfactory security by a written undertaking, with one or more sureties, to pay
the costs within thirty days after the trial. If the complainant does not pay the costs
or give the security, the court may enter judgment against him for the amount thereof,
which may be enforced as a judgment in a civil action.
22-341 Motion for new trial or arrest of judgment
A. At any time before judgment, defendant may move for a new trial, or in arrest of
B. A new trial may be granted in the following cases:
1. When the trial has been had in the absence of defendant, unless he voluntarily
absents himself with full knowledge that a trial is being had.
2. When the jury has received any evidence out of court.
3. When the jury has separated without leave of court, after having retired to
deliberate on the verdict, or when it has been guilty of any misconduct tending to
prevent a fair and due consideration of the action.
4. When the verdict has been decided by lot, or by any means other than a fair
expression of opinion on the part of all the jurors.
5. When there has been an error in the decision of the court on a question of law
arising during the trial.
6. When the verdict is contrary to law or evidence.
7. When new evidence is discovered material to defendant, and which he could not,
with reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced at the trial. When a motion for
a new trial is made upon the ground of discovery of new evidence, defendant shall produce
at the hearing affidavits of the witnesses by whom such newly discovered evidence is
expected to be given.
C. The motion in arrest of judgment may be founded on any substantial defect in the
D. The effect of an arrest of judgment is to place defendant in the same situation
in which he was before the trial was had.
22-342 Pronouncing and entering judgment
If judgment is not arrested or a new trial granted, judgment shall be pronounced at
the time appointed, and entered in the minutes of the court.
22-352 Judgment; imprisonment for fine; limitation; lien
A. When the defendant pleads guilty or is convicted either by the court or by a
jury, the court shall pronounce judgment on the plea or verdict. Sentence of fine,
imprisonment, or both, as the case may be, may be pronounced on the judgment.
B. If the court sentences the defendant to pay a fine and the defendant fails to
comply with the order, the court, after a hearing, may order that the defendant receive
credit toward payment of the fine for jail time served at a minimum of one dollar of the
fine for each one day of imprisonment. The sentence shall not extend beyond the term of
imprisonment for which the defendant might be sentenced for the offense of which the
defendant has been found guilty.
C. A sentence that the defendant pay a fine, with or without the alternative of
imprisonment, shall constitute a lien in like manner as a judgment for money rendered in
a civil action.
22-353 Sentence of fine only; discharge of defendant
If the sentence imposes a fine only, without imprisonment for nonpayment, and the
defendant is not detained for any other legal cause, he shall be discharged as soon as
the sentence is pronounced.
22-354 Sentence to pay fine; custody and release of defendant
A. When a sentence is pronounced imposing a fine and ordering defendant imprisoned
until the fine is paid, he shall be held in custody during the time specified in the
sentence unless the fine is sooner paid.
B. Upon payment of the fine or completion of the time specified in the sentence of
imprisonment, the officer having custody of defendant shall discharge him if he is not
detained for any other legal cause.
C. The court shall enter on its records the discharges and the reason therefor.
22-355 Sentence of imprisonment; authority to enforce
When a sentence of imprisonment is recorded, it shall state the date imprisonment is
to begin, and a certified copy of the sentence shall be delivered to the sheriff, marshal
or other officer, and shall be a sufficient warrant for execution of the sentence.
22-371.01 Disposition of appeal bonds
If an appeal bond has been posted and the final disposition of the appeal remains in
the superior court, that court shall enter all appropriate orders in relation to the
appeal bond. If an appeal bond has been posted and the cause is remanded to the court of
origin as authorized by section 22-374, the appeal bond shall be returned to the court of
origin. The court of origin shall have the authority to take the appropriate final
action with reference to the bond.
22-371 Right of appeal; procedure for taking appeal; transcript
A. The defendant in a criminal action may appeal to the superior court from the
final judgment of a justice or municipal court.
B. The procedure for appeals from a justice or municipal court to the superior
court shall be as provided by rules promulgated by the supreme court.
C. In a trial in a justice or municipal court, a transcript of the proceedings by a
court reporter may be ordered in the sole discretion of the court.
D. A defendant may not appeal from a judgment or sentence that is entered pursuant
to a plea agreement or from an admission to a probation violation.
22-372 Bond on appeal; stay of sentence
A. Execution of the sentence shall not be stayed unless the defendant executes a
bond with sureties, in an amount fixed by a justice of the peace or municipal judge of
the court in which the judgment was rendered and files the bond with the court. The bond
shall be approved by the justice of the peace or municipal judge.
B. The condition of the bond shall be that the defendant prosecute the appeal and
pay any fine and surrender to proper authorities in execution of any imprisonment imposed
by the superior court on the appeal.
22-373.01 Dismissal of appeal; remand to court of origin
After an appeal has been docketed in the superior court, the superior court may on
stipulation, on motion of the defendant, or on the court's own motion if the defendant
fails to appear for trial, dismiss the appeal and remand the case to the court of origin
for appropriate action.
22-373 Transmittal of papers on appeal
A. Upon an appeal to the superior court, the justice of the peace or presiding
officer of a municipal court shall immediately, without charge, transmit all papers in
the case and a copy of all proceedings as shown by the docket, and all orders entered in
the action, to the clerk of the superior court of the county, who shall file them and
docket the action without charge.
B. The justice of the peace court or municipal court shall retain any bail bond or
other security taken in an action unless otherwise ordered by the superior court.
22-374 Superior court trial or determination of appeal
A. An appeal shall be on the record of proceedings if such record includes a
transcript of the proceedings. Trial de novo shall be granted in all appeals wherein a
transcript of the proceedings has not been maintained. The record shall be as certified
by the judge of the court of origin or as stipulated by the parties. The condition of
the record shall be subject to review by the superior court which may grant trial de novo
based upon the court's evaluation of the sufficiency and condition of the record.
B. After a trial de novo or a final determination the superior court may:
1. Adjudge guilt and impose sentence as it deems proper; or
2. Acquit and discharge the defendant and exonerate his bail.
C. After determination of an appeal where there is a recorded transcript, the
superior court may:
1. Reverse the court of origin and remand the case to the court of origin and
direct a new trial;
2. Reverse the court of origin and direct a verdict of acquittal, discharge the
defendant and exonerate his bail.
3. Affirm the court of origin and remand the case to the court of origin for
22-375 Limitation of appeal from superior court in action appealed from inferior court
A. An appeal may be taken by the defendant, this state or any of its political
subdivisions from a final judgment of the superior court in an action appealed from a
justice of the peace or police court, if the action involves the validity of a tax,
impost, assessment, toll, municipal fine or statute.
B. Except as provided in this section, there shall be no appeal from the judgment
of the superior court given in an action appealed from a justice of the peace or a police