Misdemeanors and Felonies in Arizona. What’s the Difference?
The classifications for crimes in Arizona can be confusing if you’re not already familiar with the system. In criminal cases, a crime will be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony and will also be designated as a specific class number within that, with the severity increasing as the class designation number decreases.
Less serious crimes are classified as misdemeanors. Convictions generally result in less jail time and less severe fines or other punishments, but such a conviction is still a serious mark on your criminal record.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor – Up to 6 months of jail, up to $2500 in fines, and up to 3 years of probation.
- Class 2 Misdemeanor – Up to 4 months of jail, up to $750 in fines, and up to 2 years of probation.
- Class 3 Misdemeanor – Up to 30 days of jail, up to $500 in fines, and up to 1 year of probation.
Examples of misdemeanor crimes include indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, DUI, reckless driving, and loitering. A full list of misdemeanors in Arizona can be read here.
The most serious crimes are classified as felonies, with convictions resulting in the most severe jail time, fines, and other punishments.
Felonies are divided into six classes. Jail time can depend on your prior record, aggravating factors, and mitigating factors. The Arizona Legislature provides a useful chart detailing possible jail sentences for first time felony offenders. Maximum probation times are per A.R.S. 13-902:
- Class 1 Felony – No probation. A life sentence or the death penalty is possible.
- Class 2 Felony – Up to 7 years of probation. Up to 12.5 years imprisonment is possible.
- Class 3 Felony – Up to 5 years of probation. Up to 8.75 years imprisonment is possible.
- Class 4 Felony – Up to 4 years of probation. Up to 3.75 years imprisonment is possible.
- Class 5 Felony – Up to 3 years of probation. Up to 2.5 years imprisonment is possible.
- Class 6 Felony – Up to 3 years of probation. Up to 2 years imprisonment is possible.
Per A.R.S. 13-801, felonies can be fined by the court up to $150,000.
Examples of felony crimes include murder, sexual assault, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, possession of dangerous drugs, and credit card forgery. A full list of felony crimes in Arizona can be found here.
It is possible for some crimes to be able to be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony (for example, shoplifting). For this reason, it is important to hire an attorney to work your case for you, negotiate your charge down, and to ensure you receive the best probable outcome.
RIDEOUT LAW GROUP
With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.
Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:
- charges that are reduced or dropped.
- top experts reviewing your case.
- aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
- fines or probation in lieu of jail time.
At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.
Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.