Arizona Felony Crimes and Punishments
Arizona classifies all of its criminal charges into two broad types: felonies and misdemeanors. Of the two, felonies are the more serious charges and are reserved for serious crimes, so they incur similarly harsh penalties. Being charged with a felony crime is very serious and, if a conviction is reached, could result in long-lasting repercussions for your life even years in the future.
To help you better understand the differences between different criminal charges, this page will break down felony crimes and penalties in Arizona.
Arizona Felony Crimes
Arizona’s felony crime convictions carry possible sentences of up to a year or more in state prison, with the exact time spent in prison depending on the circumstances of the conviction, past criminal history, and more.
Arizona also classifies its felonies into six distinct groups. Class 1 felonies are the most severe and carry the harshest potential penalties and Class 6 felonies are the least serious, but are still more serious than any misdemeanor charge.
Felony Sentencing in Arizona
Arizona judges and juries use determinate sentencing procedures for felony convictions. In essence, this means that all felony sentences are for fixed or definite amounts of time within a set range of possible limits. A judge typically starts with a presumptive sentence and decides on a sentence within the prescribed range when ruling.
Various aggravating circumstances or mitigating circumstances can increase or decrease the amount of time spent in prison or the cost of a fine, including:
- Whether you had an accomplice during your crime
- Whether your felony charges involve the use of a weapon
- Whether you have a past criminal history
- And more
Arizona defense attorneys can help you navigate the complex legal system and possibly negotiate your charges or sentencing down to lower levels.
Arizona Felonies and Penalties
Penalties for felony crimes are separated by class. Here some example crimes and their associated possible penalties if you are convicted.
Class 1 Felonies
In Arizona, the only Class 1 felony crimes are first and second-degree murder. For first-degree murder, penalties include life in prison or death. Second-degree murder charges may carry penalties including between 10 and 25 years in prison.
Class 2 Felonies
Most Class 2 felonies in Arizona carry potential penalties such as between four and 10 years in prison and a presumptive sentence of five years in prison. These crimes include activities like armed robbery, manslaughter, sexual assault, and manufacturing methamphetamine.
Note that sexual assault crimes carry their own specific sentencing range, such as between five years and three months to 14 years in prison for a first offense.
Class 3 Felonies
Class 3 felonies in Arizona carry standard sentencing ranges of between 2 ½ years and seven years in prison. These crimes include burglary, auto theft, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Class 4 Felonies
Arizona Class 4 felonies are usually punishable by prison sentences of between 1 ½ to 3 years. Such crimes include aggravated assault involving regulation, theft of property worth between $3000 and $4000, and more.
Class 5 Felonies
A Class 5 felony conviction in Arizona may result in penalties including prison time of between 1 ½ years and 2 ½ years. Class 5 felonies include credit card theft, stalking, and aggravated domestic violence.
Class 6 Felonies (or Wobblers)
So-called wobbler crimes can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. Arizona criminal defense attorneys can work to ensure your charges are “wobbled down” to the misdemeanor level or help you avoid a conviction entirely.
Class 6 felony penalties include prison time for between six and 18 months. These crimes include theft of property worth between $1000 in $2000, theft of any gun, witness tampering, possession of drug paraphernalia, and more.
Ultimately, it’s vital that you contact Arizona criminal defense attorneys ASAP if you are charged with a felony crime. With their assistance, you’ll stand the best chance of escaping conviction or lowering your penalties as much as possible.