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Class 2 Felony

In Arizona, felony offenses carry sentences from a year to 35 years in state prison. This calls for solid defense on your part if you or your loved one faces felony charges. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney goes a long way in improving your chances of obtaining a positive outcome in your case.

When facing felony charges in Arizona, you realize that the state categorizes these offenses into six classes. From class 1 to class 6, with class 1 being the most serious offense you can commit in the state and Class 6 being the least severe. However, the court determines your sentence based on the class, circumstances surrounding your case, and criminal history.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, you need the support of a reputable lawyer. Your lawyer will assess your case to ensure nothing is overlooked and, in so doing, ensure you receive a fair judgment. At Phoenix Criminal Attorney, our legal team will advise you accordingly and represent you in court. We understand the severity of your offense and will work hard to ensure you have the best legal defense backing you up.

Types of Offenses in Arizona

In Arizona, the state divides criminal offenses into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The law does not punish misdemeanor offenses harshly as it does felonies offenses. You may be fined and have a probation sentence with a misdemeanor conviction, while a felony conviction leads to long prison sentences. Additionally, you may lose some of your rights like owning, possessing, or the right to sell a gun.

Arizona further divides criminal offenses into three categories, namely:

  • Petty offenses
  • Misdemeanor offenses
  • Felony offenses.

The difference between these crimes is the sentencing. A felony conviction will lead to state prison imprisonment for a period that ranges from one year up to 35 years and sometimes even the death penalty. Your sentencing will not exceed one year in prison for a misdemeanor conviction, while the law will not punish you with imprisonment for petty crimes.

Felony Classes in Arizona

Arizona further divides felonies into six classes. The state arranges these classes in their order of seriousness, where felonies in class 1 involve offenses like first and second-degree murder. Severe felonies carry harsh sentencing, while less severe felonies like petty theft carry less severe sentencing. However, a felony conviction does not rely solely on its class. If you have any, some factors can contribute to your sentence, like the circumstances surrounding your case and your criminal history.

Arizona divides Class 2 felony offenses into three groups, namely:

  • Dangerous crimes: you will commit a dangerous crime when you use, discharge, or threaten to use a dangerous weapon or exhibit a dangerous weapon knowing that it could inflict serious bodily injury.

  • Non-dangerous offenses

  • Dangerous offenses against minors: the minor in question is someone under 15 years.

Examples of Class 2 Felony Crimes

Several crimes fall under Class 2. They include:

  • An attempt on Class 1 felony

  • Aggravated sexual assault

  • Manslaughter

  • Terrorism

  • Money laundering

  • Dangerous assault by a juvenile or prisoner

  • Armed robbery

  • Dangerous crime against a minor

  • Arson against an occupied premises

  • Discharging a dangerous weapon in a residential area

  • Sex trafficking

  • Drive-by shooting

  • Kidnaping

  • Continuous sexual assault on a minor

  • Theft involving property worth more than $25,000

  • Child molestation

  • Burglary on a residential building

  • Extortion

  • Unlawful sexual assault by a correction employee against a minor aged below 15 years

  • Human trafficking for slavery

  • Mortgage fraud

  • Child prostitution

  • Possession, production, use, transportation, and sale of marijuana

 Understanding How Class 2 Sentencing Work In Arizona

In Arizona, the state determines sentencing for all felonies. This means that when the court sentences you to spend time in prison, your sentence will be for a certain period within the time frame allowed by the law. Every felony class has a minimum, maximum,  and a presumptive sentence. The judge will use the presumptive sentence when determining your sentence and then consider aggravating or mitigating factors before your sentence. The judge will then increase or reduce your presumptive sentence within the legal guidelines.

You can not request a lower sentence than the law allows in Arizona. You can petition for lower sentencing if the judge believes that the legally allowed sentence is harsher than the case's circumstances. You should make this petition within 90 days after you start your sentence.

Criminal offenses in Arizona have sentencing ranges, and these jail sentences range from the shortest to the longest. The court considers aggravating or mitigating factors affecting your sentence when deciding on your sentence. These factors may increase or reduce your sentence from the standard or presumptive term. Mitigating factors will lead to a lower sentence while aggravating factors will increase your sentence. If your case has several aggravating factors, your sentence may be longer than the maximum sentence. These sentences are:

  • Mitigated
  • Presumptive
  • Aggravated
  • Minimum
  • Maximum

Mitigated Sentence

When the court gives you a mitigated sentence, it considers some mitigating factors in its decision. When this happens, the court will consider facts that will lower your prison sentence. For instance, if you are under age, committed the crime under threats, your background, and character, or if your role in the crime were minor, the court would consider these as mitigating factors while determining your sentence.

Presumptive sentence

A presumptive sentence is a normal sentence you would have to face in your case where there are no mitigating or aggravating factors. This sentence aims to ensure you receive fair sentencing that ensures you do not spend more time than necessary in jail due to prejudice. The court uses a presumptive sentence as a base for your sentencing. This either lowers or extends your sentence depending on mitigating or aggravating factors surrounding your offense.

Aggravated sentence

An aggravated sentence is the harshest or longest prison sentence you can face in your given felony class. While facing charges of class 2 felony, you will need to have at least two aggravating factors to ensure you receive an aggravated sentence. An aggravating factor can be in the form of:

  • An accomplice.
  • The death of a person because of your actions.
  • Use of deadly weapons.
  • You maliciously committed the crime.
  • The victim was disabled.
  • Impersonation of law enforcement officers while committing the crime.
  • Committing an offense against an older person aged above 65 years.

Class 2 Felonies Penalties

Upon a conviction for a class 2 felony charge, your sentence will include paying a fine that does not exceed $150,000 and imprisonment. Your imprisonment will depend on the type of crime you have committed, whether it is a dangerous, non-dangerous, or dangerous offense against a minor. If you are a repeat offender, your offense involves various incidents that contribute to your offense, even if they did not occur simultaneously.

Class 2 Non-Dangerous Crime Penalties

Upon a conviction for a class 2 non-dangerous crime, the court could sentence you to the following penalties depending on your criminal history:

No criminal History

  • Mitigated sentence - 3 years
  • Minimum sentence - 4 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 5 years
  • Maximum sentence - 10 years
  • Aggravated sentence - 12.5 years

Category 1 Offender

  • Mitigated sentence - 3 years
  • Minimum sentence - 4 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 5 years
  • Maximum sentence -10 years
  • Aggravated sentence - 12.5 years

Category 2 Offender

You become a category 2 offender when you have one historical record for a felony conviction.

  • Mitigated sentence - 4and half years
  • Minimum sentence - 6 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 9 years & three months
  • Maximum sentence - 18 and a half years
  • Aggravated sentence - 23 years 

Category 3 Offender

  • Mitigated sentence - 10 and a half years
  • Minimum sentence - 14 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 15years and nine months
  • Maximum sentence - 28 years
  • Aggravated sentence - 35 years

You should note that you will need to be an adult or have the juvenile court decide to prosecute you in an adult court for the law to consider you as either category 2 or 3 offenders. The law will consider you a category 2 offender with one prior historical felony conviction and a category 3 offender with two or more historical felony convictions. However, the law does not consider all felony offenses' historical felony conviction records. Offenses that may make you a repetitive felony offender include and are not limited to:

  • Dangerous crimes.
  • A class 2 or 3 felony offense occurs within ten years of your current crime.
  • Aggravated driving under the influence(DIU).
  • Dangerous offenses against a minor.
  • Crimes that have mandatory prison terms.
  • A class 4 or 5 felony occurs within five years of your current crime.

If you are convicted for several felonies simultaneously. In that case, the first charge will make you a first-time felony offender. In contrast, the second charge will make you a repetitive offender in category 1, and any other charge will be a repetitive offender under category 2.

Class 2 Dangerous Felonies Penalties

A conviction for a class 2 dangerous felony leads to harsher sentencing. This sentencing does not consider any mitigating or aggravating factors during the ruling. A conviction in this category ensures that you can not qualify for probation, suspended sentence, or parole.

No Criminal History

  • Minimum sentence - 7 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 10.5 years
  • Maximum sentence - 21 years

One Historical Record Against You For A Felony Conviction

  • Minimum sentence - 14 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 15 years & nine months
  • Maximum sentence - 28 years

Two Or More Previous Records Against You For Felony Convictions

  • Minimum sentence - 21 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 28 years
  • Maximum sentence - 35 years

When you are facing several dangerous crimes under class 2 felonies,  then the second and subsequent offenses will carry the following sentences:

Second Offense

  • Minimum sentence - 10.5 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 21 years
  • Maximum sentence - 26 years &three months.

Other Subsequent Offenses

  • Minimum sentence - 15 years & nine months
  • Presumptive sentence - 28 years
  • Maximum sentence - 35 years

Class 2 Dangerous Felonies Against Minors Penalties

The law sets different sentencing for dangerous offenses against minors when protecting children. If the crime is against a minor under 15 when you committed the crime, then the offense class will not impact your sentence. However, under Arizona law, there is a unique way to sentence a person when the victim is a minor below 15.

For example, if you face kidnapping charges against a minor, the offense can be classified as a class 4, 3, or 2 felonies. Under the law, a kidnapping offense leads to the following sentence:

Class 4 Felony Offense

  • Minimum sentence - 1 year
  • Presumptive sentence - 2 years & 6 months
  • Maximum sentence - 3 years & 9 months

Class 3 Felony Offense

  • Minimum sentence - 2 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 3 years & 6 months
  • Maximum sentence - 8 years & 9 months

Class 2 Felony Offense

  • Minimum sentence - 3 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 5 years
  • Maximum sentence - 12 years & six months.

However, since your crime is dangerous and against a minor, then your sentence will be:

For First-time Charge

  • Minimum sentence - 10 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 17 years
  • Maximum sentence - 24 years

One Or More Prior Convictions

  • Minimum sentence - 21 years
  • Presumptive sentence - 28  years
  • Maximum sentence - 35 years

Do Class 2 Felonies Have Statute Of Limitations In Arizona?

Yes, Arizona has a statute of limitation for class 2 felonies. A statute of limitation is when the prosecution can file a felony charge against you. There is a statute of limitation in Arizona, seven years from when the crime was committed. If the prosecution does not file class 2 felony charges against you within this time, you and your defense team could use the statute of limitation as a legal defense against your charge. However, there are certain crimes for which the statute of limitation doesn’t apply. These crimes include sexual assault on a minor, weapon crimes, and sexual assault.

You should note that the statute of limitation only applies when you are present or residing in Arizona. When you are absent, this time away from the state of Arizona, stop the clock on the statute of limitations. This means that the law does not count the time you are away or absent in Arizona towards the statute of limitation 7-year time.

Class 2 Felony Sentence Enhancements

Your felony conviction penalty will have a longer and harsher sentence when:

  • A previous felony conviction.
  • When your current felony is a dangerous crime against a minor.
  • When your current conviction is for a dangerous crime.
  • When you use a lethal weapon to inflict or with intent to inflict severe bodily injury.

Can You have Your Class 2 Felonies Records Expunged In Arizona?

It is impossible to have your criminal records sealed, erased, or expunged in Arizona. If you have a criminal record, they will remain until you are aged 99, even after completing your sentence. The law can allow you to request the court to set aside your conviction under certain rules. Additionally, you can have your criminal record corrected if it has some mistakes.

What Does It Mean to Set Aside A Class 2 Felony Conviction in Arizona

Since Arizona doesn't have an expungement law, you can have your felony conviction set aside. When your felony conviction is set aside, when someone checks your criminal record, they find a set aside order, though this order does not remove your criminal charge or conviction.

You should note that a set aside order is not available if your conviction was for:

  • Sexual crimes.
  • An offense against a minor aged below 15 years.
  • Dangerous offenses.

Importance Of Engaging The Services Of An Attorney While Facing A Class 2 Felony

There are several reasons why you will need the services of a criminal defense attorney when facing class 2 felony charges in Arizona. Since Arizona does not have expungement laws, your criminal record will be part and parcel of your life. Hiring an attorney will help ensure the court dismisses or lowers your charges.

A criminal defense attorney will defend you to ensure that you do not lose your voting or gun rights. Additionally, since most class 2 felonies result in long imprisonment periods, you need to have reputable lawyers to ensure this does not happen. When you hire an attorney well acquainted with the Arizona judicial system, they know the judges and prosecutors, which will work in your favor during your trial.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Attorney Near Me

When you face a class 2 felony charge, you need to defend yourself in court. A conviction leads to serving lengthy prison time and paying hefty fines. A conviction also affects your family and friends. Apart from this, your reputation becomes ruined. Since a class 2 conviction affects your life, you should consider hiring a defense attorney.

Hiring a reputable lawyer helps you receive guidance and protects your rights. At Phoenix Criminal Attorney, our attorneys are well-acquainted with Arizona laws and have a track record of delivering on our promise. We work together with experts who bring in much-needed knowledge to help you achieve a positive outcome in your case. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, call our office at 602-551-8092 today.

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