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At my firm, we handle all kinds of criminal cases including violations of probation and cases where the defendant has multiple prior felony convictions. I am always looking out for an opportunity to let you folks know about little nuances in the law especially when it comes to prior felons. Keep in mind that whenever someone with a prior felony record goes to trial, the State always will try and introduce the defendant's prior history. A court is allowed to admit a Arizona Department of Corrections "pen pack" as a self authenticating certified copy of a public record pursuant to Rule 902(8) of the Arizona Rules of Evidence during the trial to allow the state to prove a defendant had historical prior felony convictions for sentence enhancement purposes. What the State has to do however is make sure the pen pak has a photograph of the defendant, a fingerprint card and an in state exemplification, or "jurat" . This is because the signer must be placed under oath swearing or affirming that the contents of the documents are true and correct, rather than merely acknowledging by notarization the authencity of the signature.

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