Presumptive Sentence Arizona

In Arizona, the court must impose the presumptive sentence unless "circumstances alleged to be in aggravation or mitigation of the crime are found to be true . . . ." A.R.S. 13-702(B). Thus, the statutory maximum sentence authorized by the jury's verdict is the presumptive term. See Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 159 L. Ed. 2d 403, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004) (maximum sentence authorized for an offense is the sentence that could be imposed based solely on facts admitted by defendant or reflected in the jury's verdict). For defendant's burglary and theft convictions (both class 3 felonies), the presumptive term is 3.5 years. See A.R.S. 13-1507(B); 13-1814(C); 13-701(C)(2)(2000) In Arizona, A.R.S. 13-701(A) (2001) provides that "imprisonment for a felony shall be a definite term of years" and then sets forth the term of years applicable for first-time felony offenses. For appellant's class 6 felony conviction, the term is one year. A.R.S. 13-701(C)(5). This term is typically referenced as the presumptive term. State v. Brown, 205 Ariz. 325, 332, P24, 70 P.3d 454, 461 (App. 2003). In the language of Blakely, this is the "statutory maximum." Blakely, 124 S. Ct. at 2537. Section 13-702(A) (2001) provides that the presumptive sentence may be "increased or reduced by the court." That section also provides that "any reduction or increase shall be based on the aggravating and mitigating circumstances" set forth therein and be limited to the range specified. Id. As to the offense for which appellant was convicted, the upward limit is 1.5 years. Id. Section 13-702.01(A) further provides that "if the court finds that at least two substantial aggravating factors listed in 13-702" are present, then the sentence may be further increased to two years. Applying Blakely's definition of "statutory maximum" to the Arizona scheme renders the following result: Unless admitted by defendant or waived by the parties, any sentence beyond a presumptive term must be based on at least one aggravating factor found by a jury for purposes of A.R.S. 13-702(A) and at least two "substantial" aggravating factors for purposes of A.R.S. 13-702.01(A). As stated in Blakely: Whether the judge's authority to impose an enhanced sentence depends on finding a specified fact (as in Apprendi), one of several specified facts (as in Ring), or any aggravating fact (as here), it remains the case that the jury's verdict alone does not authorize the sentence. the judge acquires that authority only upon finding some additional fact. 124 S. Ct. at 2538. In Arizona the "maximum sentence" the court may impose absent additional findings is the "presumptive term." See A.R.S. 13-701 (2001).