Tempe Municipal Court Info

Tempe Municipal Court

This court handles civil traffic and criminal misdemeanor matters.  The court is located at 140 E. 5th Street in Tempe, Arizona.  The Court’s Phone number is 480-350-8271 and they are open Monday – Friday 8am to 5pm.

If you have been arrested in Tempe and have an appearance in front of a judge in Tempe Municipal Court, here are some tips to help you best survive the process.  Know that if you have any specific questions about your case, you can always call our criminal defense attorneys at 602-989-5000 for a free consultation.

Tempe Municipal Court handles misdemeanor offenses ranging from class 3 to class 1.  As such, the maximum penalty that you could face in this court is six months in jail.  Tempe Municipal Court does not handle felony matters.

When you appear in court for the first time, the judge will want to establish a few things. First, the judge must confirm your identity, read the charges and the potential penalties, and then ask how you plead.  In Tempe, it is uncommon for the first appearance to be a substantive hearing. Instead, it is a relatively straightforward process.  It is entirely acceptable to plead “not guilty” and have your case set to a pretrial conference.

Prosecutors in Tempe Municipal Court are used to dealing with a relatively high volume of cases.  Don’t expect that they will know everything about your case when you arrive at your first pretrial conference. If the prosecutors are not seeking jail time in your case, then they will not appoint a public defender. Because of this, please be aware that your conversation with the prosecutor can have a large impact on your case.  It is our advice to be organized and not emotional during this conversation.

Due to Covid-19, the Tempe Municipal Court has made a number of changes in the way they are handling appearances. First, most appearances can be conducted by phone. That being said, our advise is to call 480-350-8271 WELL in advance to make sure that you have the right information. After you confirm that you can appear by phone, make sure that you have a secure location to call from and do what you can to make sure the call doesn’t drop or is affected by distracting noise.

tempe municipal courtA typical case in Tempe can last well over six months. You do have the ability to ask for more time so as to hire an attorney. However, courts typically do not allow multiple continuances for the same reason. Our advice is to seek out a consultation early in the process so that your criminal defense attorney has time to adequately prepare your defense.

Criminal cases in Tempe Municipal Court usually have several pretrial conferences, followed by a trial setting. The prosecutor will advise you or your attorney when the plea negotiation period is coming to a close.

Once a case is set to trial in Tempe, it may be too late to try to negotiate a plea agreement. Make sure that you keep in contact with your attorney so that you are not surprised by any deadlines.

If you are convicted of a crime and are facing jail time, know that the City of Tempe Municipal Court is allowing jail sentences to be set well out into the future. If you are scheduled to start a sentence and Covid is still affecting the community, you do have the right to return to court to ask for more time to commence your sentence. Please keep in mind that the court will typically work with people to make sure that they are safe and healthy.

If you have any questions about the policies or procedures of the Tempe City Court, please don’t hesitate to call our office.  We offer a free consultation for all criminal matters in front of the Tempe Court. The call is free and we are here to help you.  Our number is 602-989-5000.

Thank you very much,

Nicholas Alcock

Criminal Defense Attorney



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