Criminal offenses in the state of Arizona are divided into two categories, felonies and misdemeanors. These two categories are further divided into several different classifications. This classification is represented by numbers, with a lower number representing a more serious offense. Serious offenses are usually categorized as felonies, whereas the less serious crimes and offenses are categorized as misdemeanors. Some of the sentencing guidelines for criminal offenses in Arizona are given below:
The less serious crimes are classified as misdemeanors and the penalties for such crimes are generally less severe as compared to felony crimes. In Arizona, and in most other states, a misdemeanor offense is classified as follows:
Class 1 misdemeanor – This offense usually has a potential incarceration of up to 6 months.
Class 2 misdemeanor – A Class 2 misdemeanor includes a possible of 4 months incarceration.
Class 3 misdemeanor – This is the most lenient type of misdemeanor offense and involves up to 30 days incarceration.
Depending on the severity of the offense, the offender may also have to face fines and be ordered drug and alcohol screening by court. The fine amount depends on the facts and severity of the case, such as a previous criminal record. The court may also order community service.
The more serious crimes such as burglary, aggravated assault, use and possession of illegal drugs etc. are considered felony crimes and fall in this category. They carry more serious consequences as compared to misdemeanor sentences. The classification of felony crimes in the state of Arizona are given below:
Class 1 felony – This is considered the most serious felony crime and carries up to 25 years to life in prison. In case of First Degree Murder cases, the state of Arizona allows the death penalty.
Class 2 felony – A Class 2 felony carries a jail sentence of up to 5 years in case of a presumptive charge, with other penalties and fines. In more serious cases, like an aggravated Class 2 felony, the jail sentence can range up to 12.5 years.
Class 3 felony – This carries a jail sentence of up to 3.5 years in presumptive cases and up to 8.75 years in an aggravated offense.
Class 4 felony – 2.5 years up to 3.75 years in an aggravated offense. In case of a mitigating circumstances, the jail sentence is 1 year.
Class 5 felony – 1.5 years in case of a presumptive offense and a maximum of 2.5 years in case of aggravating circumstances.
Class 6 felony – 1 year in case of presumptive circumstances up to 2 years in aggravating circumstances.
Depending on the severity and circumstances of the offense, such as if the offender has a prior criminal record, punishment and sentencing can vary.
Helfand & Associates, Attorneys at Law, practice in New Jersey and New York.