What criminal offenses in Phoenix are considered misdemeanors versus felonies?
Levels of misdemeanor crimes:
- Class 1 misdemeanor- A class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, 3 years of probation (5 years maximum probation for DUI offenses) and a $2,500 fine plus surcharges. Some of the most common class 1 misdemeanor offenses include DUI, driving on a suspended license, assault, disorderly conduct, criminal damage, shoplifting and theft.
- Class 2 misdemeanor- A class 2 misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of 4 months in jail, a $750 fine plus surcharges and 2 years of probation. Some of the most common class 2 misdemeanor offenses are reckless driving, assault, criminal trespassing in the second degree and criminal damage.
- Class 3 misdemeanor - A class 3 misdemeanor is the lowest criminal offense, but still can carry severe punishments including a maximum of 30 days in jail, 1 year of probation and a $500 fine plus surcharges. The most common class 3 misdemeanor offenses in Arizona are a form of assault, criminal trespass in the third degree and criminal speeding. Immediately after being charged with a misdemeanor I recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney who has the trial experience when dealing with misdemeanor crimes.
Levels of felony crimes:
- Class 6 felony- Class 6 felony carries a maximum punishment of 2 years in prison, 3 years of supervised probation and a $150,000 fine and surcharges. Class 6 felonies can include charges such as possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, aggravated DUI, theft and possession of marijuana.
- Class 5 felony- A class 5 felony offense carries a maximum punishment of 2.5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised probation and a $150,000 fine and surcharges. Some examples of class 5 felony offenses include theft of a credit card, unlawful flight from law enforcement, criminal damage, theft and aggravated assault on a police officer.
- Class 4 felony- A class 4 felony is punishable by a maximum punishment is 3.75 years in prison, 4 years of probation and a fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Class 4 felony offenses include aggravated DUI, possession of narcotic drugs, possession of dangerous drugs, misconduct involving weapons, forgery, identity theft and burglary.
- Class 3 felony - A class 3 felony offense is punishable by up to 8.75 years in prison, 5 years of probation and a $150,000 and surcharges. Examples of class 3 felony offenses include theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, possession of marijuana for sale, theft, burglary, aggravated robbery and trafficking stolen property.
- Class 2 felony - A class 2 felony offense is punishable by up to 12.5 years in prison, 7 years of probation and a fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Class 2 felony offenses include possession of narcotic drugs for sale, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, manslaughter, aggravated assault, sexual assault, child prostitution, armed robbery, assisting a criminal street gang, burglary, discharging a firearm, theft and fraudulent schemes.
- Class 1 felony- A class 1 felony offense is the most serious crime a person can be charged with and is reserved for murder charges only. A class 1 felony carries a minimum of 25 years to life and has a maximum penalty of the death penalty.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Phoenix, Arizona you need to seek immediate representation by a qualified criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. With life-altering punishments and ramifications it is imperative that you check their qualifications and I recommend that you interview several attorneys before making a decision.
To learn more about criminal defense in Phoenix, click here to contact me or call 480-729-1683 for a free consultation today!
About the Author
Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.
Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes and white-collar crime.
After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.
After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.
Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.