Peoria Municipal / City Court

Arrested in Arizona? Call Today for Help!

People who are charged with crimes in Peoria, Arizona typically will have their case sent to the Peoria City Court. It is important for you to understand the process if you are facing charges so that you know what to expect. Getting help from an experienced Peoria Defense Lawyer at DM Cantor might help you to secure a successful resolution to your case.

Below is some information about Peoria City Court, the different types of cases it handles, and its process.

Watch this video from David Michael Cantor talking about the Peoria City Court/ Municipal Court:


The Peoria City Court handles cases dealing with traffic violations, violations of local ordinances, and misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is any crime which has a maximum punishment of up to six months in county jail. In addition, the highest fine can be $2500 plus additional surcharges and penalties which approach 84%. An important thing to not is that Peoria City Court shared jurisdiction with the justice courts. This means that it shares jurisdiction to hear misdemeanors with the Justice Court. All cases which have court dates in City or Magistrate courts, such as Peoria City Court, are misdemeanors. Some common misdemeanors that are heard in Peoria City Court include the following:

  • DUI offenses
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Criminal speeding
  • Misdemeanor trespassing
  • Misdemeanor assault/domestic violence
  • Indecent exposure


Under A.R.S 28-1381, you can be charged with DUI if you drive or are in actual physical control of a car or other vehicle when you have drunk alcohol or have used drugs if you are impaired to the slightest degree. You can also be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration is found to be 0.08% or higher within two hours of when you drove.

DUI cases are among the largest number of misdemeanor offenses that are heard in the Peoria City Court. The potential penalties for DUI convictions are quite severe.


The penalties that you might face for a DUI conviction in Peoria City Court will depend on a few different factors, including whether you have prior DUI convictions and your blood alcohol concentration. The potential penalties for the first DUI conviction include the following:

  • Serving 10 days in jail (nine days if you have completed alcohol assessment and treatment)
  • Suspension of Driver’s license from 90 days to one year
  • Mandatory installation of ignition interlock device for one year
  • Paying a fine of $250
  • Paying an assessment of $500 to the state treasurer prison construction fund
  • Paying an assessment of $500 to public safety equipment fund
  • Attending a traffic safety and survival school
  • Completing an alcohol assessment and receive alcohol counseling

If your blood alcohol concentration was 0.15% or higher your penalties will be greater or enhanced from the ones listed above. The fines you have to pay will be higher than the ones above and your license will be revoked for one year.  In addition, you will face 90 days in jail, however, you will be eligible for home detention after serving six of the ninety days.

For a second or subsequent offense within several years, the penalties will be even higher. It is very important for you to get legal help when you have been charged with any DUI offense and have been ordered to appear in Peoria City Court.


Your first appearance before a judge is called an arraignment hearing. During your arraignment hearing the judge will advise you of the charges against you. Since misdemeanor offenses carry a possible jail sentence, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. It is a good idea for you to hire a lawyer before your arraignment so that he or she can appear with you. You will be asked whether you plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. You should not enter a guilty or no contest plea without talking to a criminal defense lawyer.

In most cases, a lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to secure a lesser sentence or a reduced charge. In others, an attorney may be able to successfully fight the charges at a jury or bench trial. If you enter a plea of not guilty, you will receive a future court date to appear.

Your attorney will have the opportunity to meet with the prosecutor to try and negotiate a better plea offer at the pretrial conference. He or she may also file motions in your case. For example, if you have been charged with a DUI offense, your attorney may review the evidence to determine whether the officer conducted a traffic stop and investigation in a constitutional manner. If any problems occurred, your lawyer may file a motion to suppress some or all of the evidence against you. If your lawyer files evidentiary motions, a motions hearing will be set by the court.

At an evidentiary motions hearing, you will have the opportunity to hear the officer testify. Your lawyer will be able to challenge him or her in cross-examination.

If you do not succeed at a motion hearing and are unable to resolve your case through the negotiations process, your case will be set for trial. Your lawyer will discuss your rights with you so that you understand your options and whether you would prefer to have a jury trial or opt to have your case heard by a judge in a bench trial.

At your trial, the prosecutor will call witnesses to testify against you. Your lawyer will be able to cross-examine each witness. You also will have the right to testify. However, it may not be a good idea in some cases. Your lawyer can provide you with some guidance with whether or not you might want to testify in your own defense. You are also able to call a witness to testify in your defense case. Once the prosecution and the defense have finished presenting evidence, they will give closing statements before the case is sent to jury. The jury will deliberate and will return its verdict. If you are convicted, you will be sentenced by the judge according to the type of offense and level of the misdemeanor of which you are convicted.


In Arizona, misdemeanors are divided into three classes that denote how serious they are. Under A.R.S 13-707, class 1 misdemeanors are divided into three classes that denote how serious they are. The potential sentences for misdemeanor convictions other that DUIs are as follows:

  • Six-month jail for Class 1 misdemeanor
  • A maximum of four months in jail for a class 4 misdemeanor
  • A maximum of 30 days in jail for a class 3 misdemeanor

If you are over the age of 18 and have been convicted of at least one previous misdemeanor offense within the past two years, you will be sentenced under the next higher Class for your current misdemeanor conviction.

In addition to the potential for a sentence to incarceration, you may also be ordered to pay a fine. Under A.R.S 13-802, the fines that may be ordered for the different misdemeanor levels include the following:

  • Class 1 misdemeanors – up to $2,500
  • Class 2 misdemeanors – fine up to $750
  • Class 3 misdemeanors – fine up to $500

If you are convicted of a petty offense, you may be ordered to pay a fine up to $300.

Under A.R.S 13-902, the magistrate may sentence you top a term of probation. In most cases, a sentence of probation may be issued in lieu of jail time. The length of probationary sentence will depend on the class of your misdemeanor conviction as follows:

  • Three (3) years for Class 1 misdemeanor
  • Two (2) years for Class 2 misdemeanor
  • One (1) year for Class 3 misdemeanor


All misdemeanor cases carry the potential for jail time, substantial fines, and other penalties. It is important for you to talk to a lawyer before you enter a guilty plea. Your attorney can review the evidence that is being used against you to identify all of the defenses that you might raise in your defense. An attorney may be able to secure a plea to a lesser offense or to an alternative sentence that does not include jail time in some cases. If you want to fight the charges, your lawyer can thoroughly prepare you for a trial and represent you before the jury or judge.

Our attorneys are familiar with the city’s prosecutors, judges, and police officers and are available to anticipate how your case might be handled. This helps us to identify the potential defenses that can be raised so that you can obtain a better outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling us at 602.307.0808.


10100 N 83rd Ave,

Peoria, AZ 85345


(623) 773-7400

Court Business Hours:

Monday- Friday 8:00 am- 5:00 pm

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