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What does Arizona consider a cleared or solved crime?

If you follow the details of your case closely, you might have recently come across documentation describing the case as solved or cleared. This might feel as if the prosecutors already decided on your guilt, but an alternative explanation may resolve this. 

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, cases might not require convictions to count as solved. Some people might consider this a very optimistic or even misleading approach to crime reporting, but the state has used this format for years. 

What the state considers “clearances” 

Here are some of the many instances when the state might report a state as cleared or solved: 

  • Law enforcement arrests at least one potential offender, even if there are more people allegedly involved. 
  • A suspected offender commits suicide and/ or makes a dying declaration.  
  • A suspected individual confesses while in police custody or another individual serving time confesses to involvement in the crime. 
  • A suspected individual undergoes prosecution for the same offense but in another jurisdiction. 
  • The victim refuses to move forward with the case by pressing charges. 
  • The suspected individual is a juvenile and the parents received notification. 

Adult versus juvenile clearances 

Because different courts try juvenile and adult offenses, clearances note what category the solved cases fit into. Cases only count as “juvenile” when all suspected persons in the case are minors. When adults allegedly commit crimes alongside juveniles, the clearance becomes “adult.” “Adult” clearances also refer to crimes allegedly committed by only adults. 

Many people find Arizona’s ways of tracking and reporting crimes confusing. It might also instill panic in the accused parties who suddenly hear or see the information that the case is “solved.” However, it is unlikely that the state plans to change its method anytime soon.