Felony Class Types in Arizona
There are six levels of felony classes in Arizona. Each class has its own guidelines for punishment if convicted. When looking at sentencing, the law presumes that everyone will start at the presumptive sentence however, this sentence can be increased or decreased if mitigating or aggravating factors are found by the Judge or jury. The following sentencing ranges apply to a person with no prior felony convictions.
- Class 1 – The only crime that falls under a Class 1 felony is murder. Murder charges are divided into two categories: First or Second Degree. First degree murder is punishable by the death penalty or by life in prison without parole. Second degree murder requires a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to a maximum sentence of 25 years.
- Class 2 – A Class 2 felony allows for a minimum sentence in the Department of Corrections of three years. This can be increased to up to 12.5 years for aggravated. Probation, with up to one year in jail, is also available.
- Class 3 – Class 3 felonies allows for a minimum of two years in prison with an aggravated sentence of up to 8.75 years. Probation is also available.
- Class 4– If sentenced to prison on a Class 4 felony, you face anywhere between 1 to 3.75 years. Again, probation is available.
- Class 5 – A Class 5 felony provides for a minimum of six months in prison however, can be increased to up to 2.5 years. Probation is available.
- Class 6 – Although a Class 6 felony, an example could be a DUI in Phoenix, also allows for a probation sentence, if sentenced to prison the range allows for anywhere between .33 – 2 years.
In addition to these possible sentences, the Court has the authority to also impose fines on the person convicted of up to $150,000. If the conviction is related to drug activity, additional fines can be included in the punishment. Your Phoenix defense lawyer will explain to you what class of felony your charges fall under and what potential fine you may face if you are convicted of a crime.
Why You Need a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer
In the United States, everyone who is accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial. This right is guaranteed under the United States and Arizona Constitution. Everyone who is accused of any crime is “innocent until proven guilty.” Anyone standing accused of a crime needs to protect these rights by seeking a powerful defense attorney. A criminal lawyer does more than create a defense for the person standing accused. They will also aggressively protect your rights and make sure that you receive a fair trial. In addition to protecting your rights as someone accused of a crime, your Phoenix criminal defense lawyer will also build a defense on your behalf to present to the judge and jury.
If you decide, after consulting with your attorney about the strengths and weaknesses of you case, that a plea bargain is in your best interest, your Phoenix criminal defense attorney can advocate to get you the best plea offer possible.
The final reason that you should seek aggressive criminal defense representation when you are accused of a crime is peace of mind. Facing a jail sentence, large fines, and a felony conviction can be devastating. Having an aggressive criminal defense attorney handling the problem will give you some comfort in knowing that someone is on your side and that you will receive a fair trial, or resolution of your case.
If you are facing felony charges in Arizona, the first thing that you should do is contact DM Cantor, who can help explain the very strict courts and sentencing procedures.