Posted Feb 2023
Arizona classifies criminal offenses into felony, misdemeanor, and minor offenses. The classification is in order of seriousness, with felony offenses being grave crimes compared to misdemeanors and minor offenses. A felony conviction almost guarantees a loss of personal freedom upon conviction, including life imprisonment. In some instances, a conviction may lead to the death penalty.
A felony charge includes serious crimes like murder, rape, aggravated assault, felony DUI, some domestic violence offenses, some white-collar crimes, burglary, and the sale of an illegal drug or controlled substance. Accordingly, Arizona severely punishes felony crimes with a conviction having immense consequences, including lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines.
A felony is such a serious offense that even after serving your prison sentence, you may no longer be able to enjoy some civil rights like owning a gun or working in specific industries. Interestingly, even an arrest without a conviction is likely to have a negative impact, including damaging your reputation, among other collateral consequences like losing employment opportunities.
With a felony charge likely to change your life completely, you need to protect your legal rights. You should not face felony charges without solid legal representation. If you are in Phoenix, AZ, you can contact our well-qualified Phoenix felony defense attorneys at Huselid & Huselid Law.
Arizona further categorizes felonies in order of seriousness into several levels, from a Class 6 felony to a Class 1 felony. Class 1 felonies are the most serious and include crimes like murder. Penalties for felony offenses in Arizona are according to these classifications and include:
Class 1: life in prison or the death penalty for first-degree murder and not less than 16 years up to life imprisonment for second-degree murder.
Class 2: a prison sentence of a minimum of four years for a non-dangerous crime and a maximum of 35 years if there are aggravating factors.
Class 3: a prison term of not less than two years and six months for non-dangerous crimes and up to 25 years for more serious crimes and repeat offenders.
Class 4: a prison sentence of between 18 months and 16 years, depending on the nature of the crime and if it is a repeat offense
Class 5: a prison term of a between nine months and 7.5 years, depending on a crime’s unique circumstances
Class 6: a prison sentence of between six months and six years. The court can sometimes reduce a Class 6 felony to a class 1 misdemeanor.
A felony conviction may also have additional penalties depending on the type of crime, including fines of up to $150,000, court-ordered restitution, a drug treatment program in place of imprisonment, and registration as a sex offender.
In criminal charges, the prosecution has the burden of proof. However, you must develop a solid defense strategy to overcome felony charges. While every felony offense is unique, there are some common defenses that skilled criminal defenses attorneys use against felony charges, including:
A felony conviction almost guarantees imprisonment, besides derailing your life in many other ways. However, a skilled felony defense attorney can fight for your legal rights while guiding you through the complex criminal justice system. If you are facing felony charges in Phoenix, AZ, contact our skilled and experienced Phoenix felony defense lawyers at Huselid & Huselid Law. We are committed to defending your rights and using the best defense strategy to get the court to either reduce or dismiss the felony charges. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about our criminal defense services.