Long Distance Changes of Plea
Per 17A A.R.S. Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 17.1(a)(3), telephonic long distance changes of plea are available to individuals who reside more than 100 miles from the justice or municipal court in which the individual has pending criminal charges.
A long distance change of plea has the same effect as a change of plea entered at a personal court appearance, except that the change of plea hearing is conducted entirely by telephone.
Certain types of cases are not eligible for long distance change of plea. These include sexual offenses involving a victim; domestic violence offenses involving serious injury; domestic violence offenses with priors; and, any crime that would otherwise be classified as a serious victim crime.
Prior to accepting a long distance change of plea, the court will require the following:
- Any restitution must be paid in full
- The defendant must show proof of enrollment in domestic violence counseling, where applicable
- The defendant must complete an alcohol screening where applicable
- The defendant has made arrangements to serve any jail time required by the plea
- In addition, fines of $500 or less must be paid in full prior to acceptance of a long distance change of plea. Should a fine exceed $500, then the first $500 must be paid in full prior to the hearing and payment will be established such that the balance is paid in full by the completion of the probationary period. Community service will not be accepted in lieu of fines.
A defense attorney or an unrepresented defendant may request a long distance change of plea by sending an electronic request to Brenda.Cook@tucsonaz.gov
Or mail a written request to:
Tucson City Prosecutor's Office
P.O. Box 27210
Tucson, AZ 85726-7210.
Requests must contain
- Defendant's name as it appears on the citation
- Defendant's date of birth
- Related case docket or citation number
- An email address and/or a telephone number
The prosecutor will make offers on those requests and the court will forward the State's offer to the defendant along with forms and instructions.
A telephonic hearing will be set two months from the date the offer is extended, usually on the first Tuesday of each month.
For example, if the prosecutor extends an offer in April, the defendant will be assigned to the June hearing session and must be available at the time specified to accept a phone call from the court and to respond to the State's offer.
It falls upon the defendant to comply with Tucson City Court's terms and instructions for completing the long distance change of plea process. Failure to do so will result in a denial of the request for a long distance change of plea and a notation in the file that future requests for such a plea may be denied.
The City Prosecutor's Office aggressively prosecutes offenders who mar the appearance of our city with graffiti. Graffiti cases are assigned to a designated prosecutor so that appropriate consequences can be obtained on a consistent basis for these crimes.
For information about reporting, prevention, enforcement, and removal of graffiti, please see https://www.tucsonaz.gov/graffiti
The City of Tucson maintains standards of appearance, safety and neighborhood relations through the ordinances of the City Code, the Fire Code and the Uniform Development Code (UDC), formerly the Land Use Code or LUC.
Violations of these ordinances and codes have a detrimental effect on the quality of life for all Tucsonans.
The following issues are addressed through the City Code.
- Exterior property issues such as junk motor vehicles, and excessive weeds
- Excessive residential storage
- Interior property issues such as unsanitary conditions lack of utilities, and inoperable plumbing.
- Construction work without permitsHazardous building violations
- Water violations, and many other City Code infractions.
For detailed information, please see https://www.tucsonaz.gov/housing-and-community-development