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Probation, Diversion, Fines, Community Service, and Prison—A Guide to Criminal Sentencing

Last updated 6 years ago

The world we live in has a system of checks and balances—there are legal consequences for our mistakes and bad decisions. If you want to know the ins and outs to criminal sentencing before hiring a criminal defense lawyer, then here is a basic guide.


Probation is a low-level criminal sentencing that a person convicted of a minor offense must fulfill. Probation lasts a certain amount of weeks, and depending on the crime, the defendant usually has to pay a fine, do community service, and regularly meet with a probation officer in order to document a positive change.


A diversion program is a good alternative to being convicted for certain charges like drug possession. This is similar to a rehabilitation program that a person must finish to have the charges dropped. If you are guilty of your crime, then a good DUI defense lawyer will encourage you to enroll in a diversion program.


A lot of crimes have a dollar value attached, especially for charges of vandalism. Paying a fine takes care of the possible value lost in the crime and also avoids incarceration. However, fines are primarily imposed on minor crimes.

Community Service

Many times, community service is assigned to a convicted person in order to provide the opportunity to give back to society. Again, this is an alternative to prison, and is usually sentenced in conjunction with misdemeanors.


Prison sentences are given by a judge when an offense is repeated or major. Depending on the charges, the convicted can get five years to life. A good criminal defense attorney may be able to get the sentenced reduced, so be sure to contact a reputable law firm.

If you need a criminal attorney to fight for your rights, then call Blumberg & Associates today at (602) 277-6180. We are a leading criminal defense law firm providing DUI defense attorneys to Arizona residents.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.


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