Punishment Range for Arizona Felony Crimes
In Arizona, felonies are serious crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison. Under Arizona law, felonies are categorized into six classes: Class 1 felonies through Class 6 felonies. Class 1 felonies are the most serious Arizona felony and include homicide offenses. Class 6 Felonies are the least serious felonies and are only punishable with a maximum of two years in prison and under certain circumstances may be charged as a misdemeanor offense.
In addition to the different classes of felonies, there are enhancement categories that may substantially increase the amount of prison time that can be imposed for a Felony Offense. These categories include “Dangerous Offenses”, “Dangerous Crimes Against Children”, and “Repetitive Offenders”. Some crimes like possession of methamphetamine for sale also have exclusive enhanced sentencing.
Possible Penalties for Felonies in Arizona
- Class 1 felonies are punishable with death or life in prison.
- Class 2 felonies are punishable up to 12.5 years in prison.
- Class 3 felonies are punishable up to 8.75 years in prison.
- Class 4 felonies are punishable up to 3.75 years in prison.
- Class 5 felonies are punishable up to 2.5 years in prison.
- Class 6 felonies are punishable up to 2 years in prison.
An “attempted” crime will reduce the class of felony for a criminal offense by one classification.
An Arizona court can also impose a fine on a person as part of any sentence of up to $150,000 per any felony charge.
Class 1 Felony.
Class 1 felony crimes in Arizona include first degree and second degree murder.
Class 2 Felony.
Class 2 felony crimes in Arizona include possession of dangerous drugs for sale, trafficking stolen property in the first degree, first degree burglary (with firearm), theft of property over $25,000 or more, sexual molestation of a child.
Class 3 Felony.
Class 3 felony crimes in Arizona include theft of means of transportation, theft of property over $4,000, burglary in the second degree,
Class 4 Felony.
Class 4 felony crimes in Arizona include simple possession of dangerous drugs (methamphetamine), growing marijuana (not for medical use), theft of property over $3,000, possession of methamphetamine.
Class 5 Felony.
Class 5 felony crimes in Arizona include theft of property over $2,000, personal possession of marijuana over two pounds, possession of marijuana for sale less than two pounds, unlawful use of means of transportation (driver).
Class 6 Felony.
Class 6 felonies include personal possession of marijuana (not medical), unlawful use of means of transportation (passenger), possession of drug paraphernalia, theft of property over $1,000.00.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a time period set by the legislature to limit how long the State and prosecutors may charge an individual with a crime. These are time limits written in law as “statutes”. Most felonies in Arizona have a seven year statute of limitations. Crimes of homicide or violent sexual assault, or misuse of public monies have no time limitations. Any period in which a person is out of the State or on a bench warrant does not count towards the time limitations. See Arizona Revised Statutes 13-107.
The Importance of Hiring an Attorney When Facing Felony Charges.
If convicted of a Felony it will be part of your permanent record. There is no “expungement” or “sealing” of crimes in Arizona. Being convicted of a Felony could result in a prison sentence, and decrease your chances of finding quality employment. You can loose your civil rights to vote or possess a firearm. Being convicted of multiple felonies or having a prior felony conviction could result in enhanced and greater prison sentences.
Hiring an experienced trial lawyer can help determine whether there are any defenses or reasons for dismissal of any felony charges. A criminal lawyer can help negotiate any possible plea agreements or represent you at a jury trial in Superior Court. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know the local court system and can assess possible outcomes in Court or with local prosecuting agencies and can advise you on the best courses of action.