Navajo County

Proudly Serving, Continuously Improving Since 1895

Navajo County Public Defender
Courts

Justice Courts

Justice of the peace courts have jurisdiction of misdemeanors and criminal offenses punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars and 84% surcharge or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six months. Additional penalties and surcharges are not considered part of the fine for jurisdictional purposes. Justice courts may commence action against felony offenders through preliminary hearings to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant is guilty of an offense and should answer in superior court. If you elect to proceed with a preliminary hearing in justice court, a transcript of that proceeding may be used in any trial in Superior Court.

Superior Court

The Superior Court of Navajo County is located in Holbrook, in the same Governmental Complex as the Public Defender and County Attorney offices. This court has jurisdiction over criminal matters including felonies and misdemeanors, as well as civil and other cases enumerated in the Arizona Constitution, Art. 6, Sec. 14.

Drug Court

Drug Court is a court-managed, drug intervention and treatment program. Drug Court may be offered by the Prosecutor to a defendant who is or will be placed on probation. There may be significant benefits such as dismissal of the charges (deferred prosecution) upon successful completion of the program. The Defense Attorney will review the terms of a Drug Court plea agreement with the defendant after researching the case and all defenses, and after determining that the Prosecutor is willing to offer a Drug Court plea agreement. An assessment and interview will determine whether the defendant is a substance abuser. If eligible for Drug Court after the assessment, the defendant must be willing to commit to the entire program. The program may be successfully completed within one year. Drug Court is currently held in Holbrook and Show Low Justice Courts. Termination from the program occurs if the Drug Court Committee determines that the defendant will not complete the program successfully. That decision is based on circumstances including but not limited to new felony or misdemeanor convictions; violent behavior or threats of violence towards self or others; inappropriate, disruptive, or noncompliant behavior; continued violations of program rules; or if the participant absconds from the program. In that event, the defendant’s probation will be revoked and sentencing will be for the original charge set forth in the Drug Court plea agreement. More information may be obtained in the Drug Court Orientation Manual.

Domestic Violence Court

A newly formed Domestic Violence (D/V) Court went into operation in Show Low Justice Court at the end of October, 2009. The Court refers first-time misdemeanor offenders with no previous domestic violence convictions to the D/V prosecutor at the initial appearance. The Prosecutor screens the candidates and determines whether the defendant is appropriate for the program. The court-appointed (or retained) Defense Attorney reviews the case and all possible defenses and if trial is not viable, discusses the Domestic Violence Plea agreement with the defendant. If the defendant enters a D/V guilty plea and completes the program, including 26 domestic violence classes over a nine- month period, the charges will be dismissed. The aim of the D/V Court is to enable defendants to acquire skills and tools to prevent further involvement in domestic violence incidents, and to assist the victim by appropriate referrals to supportive agencies and programs. If the defendant fails to complete the program, the justice court will proceed with sentencing pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement. There are significant benefits to the program. The mandatory education sessions have a reduced fee, the charges are dismissed after successful completion of the program, and the federal law banning firearms for D/V offenders is avoided. Perhaps the most positive benefit of the program are the classes. They are provided in a non-threatening, non-intimidating context so that the defendant can process the information and recognize the triggers producing the behavior, and how to achieve control over the behavior.

Juvenile Court

The Navajo County Juvenile Court presides over criminal matters involving persons under the age of 18. Juvenile offenders have the right to court-appointed counsel in all proceedings involving offenses, dependency or termination of parental rights pursuant to Title 8 of the Arizona Revised Statutes that may result in detention. Juveniles can be prosecuted as adults. Arizona Revised Statute 13-501 and the Arizona Constitution provide for criminal prosecution in cases against 15, 16 and 17-year-old defendants involving charges of first degree murder in violation of A.R.S. 13-1105; second degree murder in violation of A.R.S. 13-1104, forcible sexual assault in violation of A.R.S. 13-1406; armed robbery in violation of A.R.S. 13-1904; any other violent felony offense; any felony offense committed by a chronic felony offender; or any offense properly joined to an offense listed above. The aim of the Juvenile Court is to comply with constitutional, statutory, and administrative requirements which focus on treatment and rehabilitation as well as protection of the community and youth. Programs include delinquency prevention, treatment, probation, statewide automation and other related activities.

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