September 24, 2013

Criminal Court

Each year, more than 28,000 criminal cases are filed in Superior Court in Maricopa County.

Over the past decade, there has been a 90% increase in felony cases filed in Superior Court. The number of first-degree murder cases filed increased 30%.Currently, the criminal bench is working in collaboration with other criminal justice agencies to reduce jail population, coordinate case transfers from justice courts, expand the Drug Court program and streamline criminal case management. Recent Innovations in the Criminal Department Through the implementation of a Bond Forfeiture Calendar, more than $1.9 million is collected yearly from defendants who fled and failed to appear for court. To lessen trial court judges’ calendars, specialized dockets were created solely for probation revocations and change-of-plea proceedings. Forensic Services provides clinical examinations of defendants to determine if they are competent to understand criminal court proceedings. Early Disposition Court The law, referred to as Proposition 200, affected the prosecution of drug charges, necessitating a change in the system to provide incentives to early pleas and earlier treatment. The result was a program initially referred to as Expedited Drug Court. Today it is known as Early Disposition Court (EDC).

The Criminal Court operates under Rule 16.4: Rules of Criminal Procedure