What criminal offenses in Phoenix are considered misdemeanors versus felonies?

by Aaron Black • August 19, 2016
Criminal OffensesCriminal charges in Phoenix include a wide range of offenses. From a DUI to domestic violence, theft, murder or manslaughter, depending on the offense they can be classed as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

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.
Please note that if you are sentenced to probation on any of the above listed felonies a judge can still sentence you up to a set sentence of one year in county jail (Tent City) and if you have prior felony convictions then prison becomes mandatory.

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!