Calik v. Kongable

In Calik v. Kongable, 195 Ariz. 496, 990 P.2d 1055 (1999), the Arizona Supreme Court discussed the purposes behind Proposition 200, stating that "it is true . . . that time in jail can be an effective adjunct to probation. However, the goal of Proposition 200, to treat initial convictions for personal possession and use of a controlled substance as a medical and social problem, must govern." Calik, 195 Ariz. at 501, P19, 990 P.2d at 1060. The court concluded that neither the text of 13-901.01 nor the intent of the electorate supported incarceration as a condition of probation for first-time offenders. Id. at P22. Rather, the court recognized a "graduated sequence of punishment" in Proposition 200 wherein a trial court may not impose jail time for first-time personal possessors and users, but may for second-time offenders; and that a third such offense makes a person ineligible for probation and allows the court to impose a sentence of imprisonment under other provisions of the criminal code. See id. at 499, PP12-14, 990 P.2d at 1058. The court then vacated the trial court's order that imposed jail time as a term of probation for a first-time offender. Id. at 501-02, P22, 990 P.2d at 1060-61. The Arizona Supreme Court rejected a literal construction that permitted a first-time offender to be jailed as a condition of probation. Although nothing in the express language of the statute prohibited probationary jail for a first-time offender, elsewhere the statute expressly ruled out jail as a condition of reinstatement after a first violation of probation. To permit jail under the first circumstance but not the second "makes no sense," observed the court, and "would lead to an absurd result." 195 Ariz. at 499, 990 P.2d at 1058 P12.