Arizona Felony Offenses
Arizona felony offenses are the most serious types of offenses according to Arizona law. They range from a class 1 felony (the most serious felony) to a class 6 felony (the least serious felony). Felony offenses carry wide ranging penalties that can include prison time, jail time, probation time, fines, fees, court ordered classes and other consequences.
Felony charges in Arizona are no joke, and having a passionate criminal defense attorney on your side is critical. Attorney Steven Scharboneau has handled many felony cases and is ready to fight for you if you have been charged with a felony offense. Below are some examples of common felony charges in Arizona.
Common Arizona Felony offenses
Prohibited Possessor / Misconduct Involving a Weapon
Possession of Drugs or Drug Paraphernalia
Theft of Means of Transportation
What are the Penalties for felony convictions in arizona?
Penalties For Felony Convictions In Arizona
As mentioned above, the penalties for a felony conviction in Arizona can be very serious. However, there are legal “caps” on the penalties that can be assessed for any given class of felony. Felony charges are often negotiated or reduced as to decrease the range of penalties. Also, the ranges discussed below can be increased significantly if the individual accused has a prior felony conviction that can be used against them during sentencing. Also, sentencing can be enhanced with sentencing enhancements that are put in place by the prosecution–such as designating an alleged crime “dangerous.”
Class 1 Felony
In Arizona, class 1 felonies are the most severe type of criminal offense in the state. There are only 2 crimes that are class 1 felonies, and both are homicides: First-degree murder and second-degree murder. Convictions for first-degree murder are punishable with fines and either a life jail sentence or the death penalty. Convictions for second-degree murder carry jail sentences.
Class 2 Felony
Some examples of class 2 felonies are arson, manslaughter, drive by shooting and sexual assault. Class 2 felonies in Arizona carry a sentence of 3 to 12.5 years in prison for a first offense. For most first time offenses, probation is available unless a dangerous designation is sought by the prosecution–which can be relatively common for this level of offense.
Class 3 Felony
Some examples of class 3 felonies are theft, aggravated assault, stalking, and fraud. Class 3 felonies in Arizona carry a sentence of 2 to 8.75 years in prison for a first offense. For most first time offenses, probation is available unless a dangerous designation is sought by the prosecution.
Class 4 Felony
Some examples of class 4 felonies are aggravated DUI, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and misconduct involving a weapon (prohibited possessor). Class 4 felonies in Arizona carry a sentence of 1 to 3.75 years in prison for a first offense. For most first time offenses, probation is available unless a dangerous designation is sought by the prosecution.
Class 5 Felony
Some examples of class 5 felonies are animal abuse, rioting, criminal damage, and aggravated assault. Class 5 felonies in Arizona carry a sentence of .5 to 2.5 years in prison for a first offense. For most first time offenses, probation is available unless a dangerous designation is sought by the prosecution.
Class 6 Felony
Some examples of class 6 felonies are aggravated DUI, possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and shoplifting. Class 6 felonies in Arizona carry a sentence of .33 to 2 years in prison for a first offense. For most first time offenses, probation is available unless a dangerous designation is sought by the prosecution.
Class 6 Undesignated Felony
In Arizona, there are two types of class 6 felonies, a class 6 “designated” felony and a class 6 “undesignated” felony – ARS 13-604. A class 6 designated felony the type of felony discussed above, there is nothing special about it. However, a class 6 undesignated felony is a felony that, upon completion of probation and any other terms of sentencing, can be turned into a misdemeanor conviction.
There are many nuances to the way an Arizona class 6 undesignated felony works. For example, sometimes the terms of how the misdemeanor is earned can be negotiated by an Arizona criminal defense attorney. Recent legislation was passed at the Arizona legislature that Attorney Steven Scharboneau was directly involved in passing that requires for most purposes, a class 6 undesignated felony be treated as a misdemeanor for some purposes. This legislation was drafted and passed as to avoid creating hardship is securing housing or employment for folks with a class 6 undesignated felony conviction.
Mitigation and Aggravation With Arizona Felony Charges
If convicted of a felony in Arizona, the sentencing judge will look at both mitigating and aggravating factors in determining the appropriate sentence. While these factors are codified in law, the judge may consider the factors he or she deems fit. Common mitigating factors include, strong ties to the community, stable employment, education and a demonstrated past of good deeds.
These mitigating factors do not need to be held until sentencing. Often times, mitigation can be used to negotiate a better plea offer with the prosecution. While mitigation alone may not be enough to get the deal you would like, and there is no guarantee that mitigation will secure the offer you are looking for, it does go a long way with some prosecutors.