Classifying Felonies in Arizona
All crimes fall into one of two categories: Misdemeanors and felonies. While misdemeanors are considered more minor crimes, felonies are treated as more serious crimes that carry much more severe consequences if a conviction occurs. Regardless of whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you have the right to legal counsel and representation with an experienced defense attorney during the legal process.
Arizona’s Felony Classes
In the state of Arizona, felonies fall into one of six classes. Class 6 felonies are considered the least severe and carry the shortest maximum jail sentence of only one year. As felonies grow progressively more severe, they carry longer jail sentences—Class 5 penalties are punishable by up to 1.5 years in jail, Class 4 penalties by 2.5 years of jail time, Class 3 penalties result in 3.5 years in jail, and Class 2 penalties can carry a sentence of up to five years. Class 1 felonies are the most severe, with punishments ranging from 25 years to life in prison or, typically in cases of first-degree murder, the death penalty.
First-Time versus Multiple Offenders
It’s important to note that the jail sentences listed above apply only to first-time felony offenders. This means that they are the maximum sentences an individual would serve the first time he is convicted of a felony, regardless of the number of times he may have been charged. The potential sentence for second- and third-time felony offenders is greater, and often amounts to two to three times the sentence length for first-time offenders following a conviction.
Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law is here to help if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Tucson. Ms. Altschuler has extensive experience in many areas of criminal law, including domestic violence, drug possession, gun crime, and assault. You can reach us any time via our website or by phone at (520) 247-1789 to schedule a free initial legal consultation 24 hours a day, regardless of whether you are at home or currently in custody.