Arizona Misdemeanor Criminal Defense Attorney

What Is A Misdemeanor Offense in Arizona?

Misdemeanor offenses are criminal offenses in Arizona and they do stay on your criminal record. One way to think of misdemeanor offenses is to think of them in context with other other Arizona offenses. A misdemeanor offense is considered worse than a petty offense, but not as bad a felony offense in Arizona.

Misdemeanors in Arizona vary by class, classes 1 -3, a class 1 misdemeanor being the most serious of the 3. While a good defense attorney or criminal defense attorney can lessen penalties of even have charges dismissed, here are the maximum penalties for misdemeanors in Arizona.

Penalties For Misdemeanor Offenses in Arizona

Class 1 Misdemeanor

  • 6 months jail, ARS 13-707(1).
  • $2500 (plus an 83% surcharge), ARS 13-802(A).
  • 3 years of probation, ARS 13-902(5).

Class 2 Misdemeanor

  • 4 months jail, ARS 13-707(2).
  • $750 (plus an 83% surcharge), ARS 13-802(B).
  • 2 years of probation, ARS 13-902(6).

Class 3 Misdemeanor

  • 1 month jail, ARS 13-707(3).
  • $500 (plus 83% surcharge), ARS 13-802(C).
  • 1 year of probation, ARS 13-902(7).

Other Collateral Consequences Of A Misdemeanor Conviction

  • Immigration Rights – If you are not a citizen of the United States, being found guilty of a crime may impact your immigration rights to apply for citizenship or remain in the United States legally.
  • Court Ordered Counseling – You may be ordered to be placed in counseling for drug, anger management, domestic violence, or moral recognition counseling.
  • Unsupervised Probation – You may be placed on probation if convicted of a misdemeanor offense. You must report to a probation officer on a regular basis if ordered on supervised probation.
  • Right to Possess Firearm– Under Federal Law if you are convicted of certain domestic violence offenses, your right to possess or purchase a firearm can be revoked.
  • Restitution – If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense and the alleged victim is found by the court to have suffered economic loss as a result of the criminal conduct, you could be ordered to pay restitution.

Examples of arizona misdemeanor offenses


In Arizona, misdemeanor assault can be charged as either a class 1, 2 or 3 misdemeanor.

Class 3 Misdemeanor Assault in Arizona: The government must prove that you knowingly touched a person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke. For this level of assault, no injury to the alleged victim is required.

Class 2 Misdemeanor Assault in Arizona: The government must prove that you intentionally placed someone in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. There is no requirement that the alleged victim be touched at all. All that’s needed is for someone to reasonably believe that they’re going to be injured.

Class 1 Misdemeanor assault in Arizona: The government must prove that you intentionally, recklessly or knowingly caused physical injury to the alleged victim. Physical injury legally means the impairment of someone’s physical condition.

Criminal Damage

A person can be found guilty of criminal damage several different ways. According to A.R.S. 13-1602, a person is guilty of misdemeanor criminal damage in Arizona by:

  • Recklessly defacing or damaging property.
  • Recklessly tampering with property of another person so as substantially to impair its function or value.
  • Recklessly damaging property of a utility.
  • Recklessly parking any vehicle in such a manner as to deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water.
  • Recklessly drawing a message, slogan, sign, or symbol on any public or private building without permission of the owner.
  • Intentionally tampering with utility property.

“Recklessly” means, with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard of such risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but who is unaware of such risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect to such risk.

Disorderly Conduct

While disorderly conduct can be charged as a felony, it is usually charged as a class 1 misdemeanor offense. A person commits disorderly conduct in Arizona if the government can prove that you, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family, or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person either:

  • Engaged in fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior; or
  • Made “unreasonable” noise; or
  • Used abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person; or
  • Made any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting, gathering or procession; or
  • Refused to obey a lawful order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, a hazard or any other emergency.

The statute that outlines disorderly conduct in Arizona is A.R.S. 13-2904. If a person does the aforementioned and in doing so recklessly handles, displays or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, then the disorderly conduct charge can be charged as a class 6 felony rather than a misdemeanor.

Domestic Violence

Folks are generally surprised to learn that domestic violence in Arizona is more of a classification or designation of a crime, rather than a crime itself. That being said, a domestic violence charge in Arizona can be applied to a number of different charges. Essentially, people are charged with a crime and if certain legal parameters are met, a domestic violence designation is attached to the crime as well.

Some common misdemeanor offenses in which domestic violence designations are attached are:

  • Assault / Domestic Violence
  • Criminal Damage / Domestic Violence
  • Disorderly Conduct / Domestic Violence
  • Interference with Judicial Proceedings / Domestic Violence
  • Preventing Use of Phone in Emergency / Domestic Violence
  • Threatening / Intimidating / Domestic Violence
  • Trespassing / Domestic Violence
  • Unlawful Imprisonment / Domestic Violence

While these are a few examples, most misdemeanor or felony offenses can be designated domestic violence. Under the Arizona law, ARS 13-3601, a crime can be considered a domestic violence offense when any of the following apply:

  • The people who were involved were married or formerly married or live or lived in the same household.
  • The people involved have a child together
  • The victim is pregnant with child of the person who is being charged
  • The person accused of the offense are related either by blood or by law
  • The person charged lives lives in the same residence as a child victim and is related by blood or a former spouse
  • The alleged victim and the defendant were involved romantically or sexually

Sometimes, law enforcement officers are called to a domestic disturbance and have to place one individual under arrest; and then, later both parties involved in the domestic disturbance do not wish to proceed with prosecution. However, despite the wishes of the parties, prosecutors will continue to prosecute.

Domestic violence convictions can have serious consequences, including jail, fines, fees, staining your record and even your federal right to possess a firearm. This makes it very important to contact domestic violence defense attorney if you or someone you know is arrested for a crime with a domestic violence designation.


Theft in Arizona can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, the factor that determines the level of offense charged is the value of the property or services that are allegedly stolen. Misdemeanor theft is commonly referred to as “petty theft.”

According to Arizona law, ARS 13-1802 theft occurs when a person knowingly takes or converting another’s property or services without authorization and with intent to deprive that person of their property or services. Theft can occur by a physical action, misrepresentation, or deceit. The theft of any property or services valued at less than $1,000 is a class 1 misdemeanor, which is the lowest-level theft offense under Arizona law.

DUI Offenses

See our extensive section on Arizona DUI laws HERE

Call or Text Steven Scharboneau 24/7 @ (480) 363-0090