Misdemeanor Penalties in Arizona
Although Arizona law considers misdemeanors to be less severe than felonies, they can still significantly damage your present and future. This includes serving jail time if found guilty, and paying significant fines. There are three levels of misdemeanor crimes in Arizona:
- Class 1 is the most severe misdemeanor charge
- Class 2 is a moderately severe misdemeanor charge
- Class 3 is the least severe misdemeanor charge
It is important to understand that even a class 3 misdemeanor still carries stiff penalties including fines and jail time. This is why if you find yourself facing any misdemeanor charge, it is essential to consult a competent, aggressive defense attorney who will fight for your legal rights.
Let’s take a look at how the different misdemeanor classes are treated in terms of financial penalties and potential jail sentences.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
A.R.S. § 13-707 states that that maximum penalties for a class 1 misdemeanor include up to six months’ jail time and $2500 in total fines. Both financial penalty and incarceration vary depending on the nature of the crime, as well as the legal history of the defendant. If you have previously been convicted of a misdemeanor, even a more minor offense like a Class 2, another offense can result in a higher level of sentencing.
Class 2 Misdemeanors
In Arizona, class 2 misdemeanors can include jail sentences of up to four months and fines totaling $750. Just like with class 1 misdemeanors, the sentencing penalty can be increased if you have previously been convicted of another misdemeanor. This includes class 3 misdemeanors, or even a petty offense.
Class 3 Misdemeanors
In Arizona, class 3 misdemeanors can include up to 30 days in jail and a total of $500 in fines. The same as with class 1 and 2, any previous class 3 misdemeanors on your record mean that another class 3 charge can result in increased sentencing penalties for the next offense.
Misdemeanor Sentencing Variables
The legal penalties for misdemeanor violations in Arizona depend heavily on the nature of the offense and your legal history. First time offenders can sometimes agree to diversion programs and other forms of alternate penalties to stave off jail sentences, although fines are usually levied across the board.
Sometimes, it is a good idea to enter into a plea bargain, which can lessen or even eliminate some of your charges. However, other times plea bargains can result in negative long-term effects both personally and professionally speaking.
Trust Phoenix Criminal Attorney With Your Misdemeanor Defense in Arizona
Phoenix Criminal Attorney provides our clients with focused legal assistance for all misdemeanor charges. We will not stop fighting for your rights by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you have been charged with any class of misdemeanor offense in Arizona, contact us today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.