Fushek v. State, 183 P.3d 536 (Az. 2008)
Nature of Case: Fushek was charged with several misdemeanor offenses, which if convicted of, he potentially faced registration as a sex offender. Fushek argued that, because of the potential of sex offender registration, he was guaranteed the right to a jury trial by the Arizona constitution. The trial court agreed, finding that due to the severity of sex offense registration, it reflected the legislature’s determination that the crimes with which Fushek was charged were serious. The state appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed, and Fushek appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Holding: The Arizona Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals, and held that Fushek was entitled to a jury trial under the Arizona constitution. The fact that he was charged with misdemeanors notwithstanding, Arizona’s sex offense registration scheme was sufficiently severe that it reflected the legislature’s determination that these were serious crimes.