An arrest or a charge for a felony offense can be a traumatizing and stressful experience, but it does not have to be a life-altering one. If you have a criminal charge for a Class 6 felony offense, every stage of the criminal justice system is critical and a chance to fight for the best possible outcome.
Although prosecutors often push for the most severe sentence upon a conviction for a felony charge, a reliable defense attorney could help you prove your innocence for a lighter charge or dismissal of the case. Upon an arrest for any alleged crime, you should speak with a defense attorney as soon as possible to preserve your best interests and stand a chance of beating your case.
Credible attorneys at Phoenix Criminal Attorney can help you navigate the confusing criminal justice system if you or your loved one is under arrest or investigation for an alleged Class 6 felony offense. Our attorneys deeply understand the consequences of a conviction for a felony offense, and we will use our extensive knowledge to help you fight for the best attainable results in the alleged charge.
A Class 6 Felony at a Glance
A Class 6 felony offense is typically a category of a criminal offense. Generally speaking, if you are under arrest for any alleged criminal offense, it could fall into any of the following categories, depending on your case's facts:
- Petty offenses – As the name implies, petty offenses are non-severe crimes and will not attract a jail term upon conviction in most cases, for example, traffic offenses
- Misdemeanor offenses – These types of crimes are more severe than petty offenses and could attract up to a year in jail upon conviction
- Felony offenses – These crimes are the most severe and could carry more than a year in jail and hefty fines upon conviction at trial
According to revised statutes (ARS) 13-601, felony offenses are further categorized into six Class es, ranging from the most severe to the least severe, including:
- Class 1 felony
- Class 2 felony
- Class 3 felony
- Class 4 felony
- Class 5 felony
- Class 6 felony
Among the above six Class es of felonies, Class six felonies are the lowest in level and severity, meaning they carry less severe penalties than Class 1 felony offenses. If you have a charge for a Class 6 felony offense, the prosecutor can file your case as either a felony or misdemeanor because it is a wobbler offense in the eyes of the law.
Whether the prosecutor will pursue your case as a felony or a misdemeanor will depend on your unique case facts. When the prosecutor files your charge as a felony, your defense attorney could raise mitigating arguments to convince the court to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, which carries less severe penalties.
Under certain circumstances, the judge could also choose to designate your charge's sentence as a Class 1 misdemeanor instead of a Class 6 felony or could leave it undesignated until you complete your probation.
Due to the detrimental and life-changing consequences that come with having a criminal record, you should never think of dealing with prosecutors or a judge without an attorney on your side. Not only will a defense attorney act as your legal counsel during these nerve-wracking moments, but he/she will also act as your voice in court to convince the court to drop or reduce the alleged charges.
An Overview of Common Class 6 Felonies That You Ought to Know
Although Class 6 felonies are not severe as Class 1 felonies, you should seek the services of any attorney if you want to stay on the safe side of the law after an arrest. Explained below are examples of some of the most common Class 6 felonies that you ought to know:
According to ARS 13-2006, you commit the offense of criminal impersonation when you assume another person's identity with the intent or motive to trick or defraud another person for an undeserved gain or profit. When you violate this statute, the prosecutor will typically file your case as a Class 6 felony.
Below are examples of acts that could count as criminal impersonation under ARS 13-2006:
- In an attempt to avoid a traffic ticket, you give your friend's name and contact details to a police officer
- Using another person's social security number for job or employment reasons
Upon conviction for criminal impersonation under this statute, you could end up behind bars for not less than two (2) years and pay a fine amounting to $150,000. It is worth noting that this offense is different from the identity theft crime under ARS 13-2008, which involves using another person's identifying information for illegal purposes.
The key to protecting your best interests and legal rights during the prosecution process is retaining the services of a defense attorney for the best possible judgment on your alleged charge. Below are some of the applicable defenses your defense attorney could argue to counter this charge during the trial hearing for the possible outcome:
- You had no intent to defraud
- The allegations you are up against are untrue
- There was a violation of your constitutional right during the arrest process
ARS 13-1201 is the statute that defines the offense of endangerment. According to this statute, you commit the crime of endangerment when you put another person at risk of imminent death or bodily injury. Depending on the unique facts of your alleged charge, a conviction for violating this statute is a Class 6 felony, carrying the following probable penalties:
- Detention in the state prison for not less than two years
- Up to $150,000 fine
- Victim restitution
The above penalties are possible if your case is a felony, meaning there was a substantial risk of the imminent death of the victim. However, if there was a substantial risk of the victim sustaining an imminent injury, your case will be a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor conviction for endangerment will attract a light sentence of not more than six months in jail and a maximum $2500 fine.
Below are examples of acts that could attract an endangerment charge under ARS 13-1201:
- Setting fire in an apartment complex
- Driving under the influence of alcohol with a passenger(s) onboard
- Stabbing another person with a pen knife when his/her children are in the next or adjoining room
To fight a child endangerment charge, your defense attorney can raise mitigating arguments using the following viable defenses:
- You were drugged without your knowledge, meaning the intoxication was involuntary
- There was no justifiable risk
- Your acts were necessary
- The victim was not at risk of injury or death
Some people take other people's property or money without thinking of the consequences they could face upon a conviction for the crime of theft. According to ARS 13-1802, knowingly taking or using another person's property without his/her consent is a criminal offense.
Generally speaking, the higher the value of the goods in question in the alleged theft case, the more severe your case will be in the eyes of the law. If the monetary value of the goods in question ranges from $1,000 to $2,000, the prosecutor will pursue your case as a Class 6 felony. In that case, a conviction will attract a possible jail term of (4) months to two (2) years if it is your first-time offense.
To counter this charge at trial, your defense attorney could apply the defenses listed below for the best possible results:
- You did not have the motive or intent to commit the offense
- You had consent to take the property or goods in question
- The property in question was a gift
- You were the actual owner of the property in question
- You borrowed to use the property in question
Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm
Most people do not know it, but you cannot fire or shoot your firearm anywhere, even if you are a legal firearm holder. ARS 13-3107 is the law that defines the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm. Typically, you violate this statute when you fire your gun negligently into or within the limits of a city. Below are examples of acts that can put you in trouble with the law under ARS 13-3107:
- Firing your pistol in the air near or within a town park
- Firing your gun at a private residence within the confines or borders of a town
- Discharging your rifle within a parking lot of a private school in the city
A conviction for ARS 13-3107 violation is a Class 6 felony offense punishable by incarceration in the state prison for up to two (2) years. However, if the weapon you had was dangerous or deadly, a conviction could attract a prison time of not less than three years.
If you are up against the crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm under ARS 13-3107, your defense attorney can help your challenge the allegations using the following applicable defenses:
- You did not have criminal intent
- You are a victim of mistaken identity
- You discharged the firearm in self-defense
- The prosecutor's evidence against you is insufficient
If you are charged or perhaps under investigation for an alleged unlawful discharge of a firearm offense, it is wise that you hire a defense attorney without delay. A skilled defense attorney will know how to apply the above legal defenses to counter the accusations you are up against for the best possible outcome.
Another crime that could qualify as a Class 6 felony offense is aggravated assault. According to sections 13-1204 of the revised statutes, you commit the crime of aggravated assault when you assault another person using particular aggravating factors, for example:
- Assaulting another person using a dangerous or deadly weapon like a pistol
- Assaulting another person, leading to bodily injury
Although this offense is generally chargeable as a Class 2 felony, the prosecutor could file your case as a Class 6 felony under the following circumstances:
- The assault did not involve bodily injury or the use of a deadly weapon
- You had to enter or break into the victim's or accuser's home to assault him/her
- The assault was against a person aged below 15 years and you 18 years old or above
- You had to restrain the victim's body movement before assaulting him/her
- The assault was against a particular protected Class of people, for example, a police officer, teachers, peace officer, healthcare provider, or prosecutor
When charged as a Class 2 felony, aggravated assault can attract a jail term of up to five (5) years. However, when the prosecutor files your case as a Class 6 felony, a conviction will carry the following potential penalties:
- A maximum of three(3) years in the state prison
- Up to $150,000 fine
If you were in a domestic relationship with the victim, the prosecutor could also charge you with a domestic violence offense under ARS 13-1301.
To stand a chance of achieving a favorable outcome on the alleged aggravated assault offense, you should never risk handling the case alone without an attorney on your side. Below are possible defenses your defense attorney can apply to counter the alleged aggravated assault charge under ARS 13-1204 for the possible results:
- You are a victim of mistaken identity
- The accusations you are up against are false
- You were acting in self-defense
Discussed above are some of the most common Class 6 felony offenses that most people commit. Other crimes that could qualify as a Class 6 felony include (but are not limited to):
- Aggravated DUI
- Resisting arrest
- Possession of less than two (2) pounds of marijuana
- Sexual conduct with a minor aged above fifteen (15) years
- Unlawful imprisonment
- Attempting to commit a Class 5 felony
- Indecent exposure to someone aged below fifteen (15) years
If you are a repeat offender or perhaps you have past felony convictions on your record, a conviction for any Class 6 felony will carry more severe penalties. Fortunately, with a skilled and aggressive defense attorney in your corner, you could stand a chance of beating the alleged charge for a dismissal of the case or a lighter charge.
What to Do After an Arrest for any Offense that Qualifies as a Class 6 Felony
If you are under arrest for any felony offense, it could seem like you have few options. However, there are several steps you can take after an arrest to protect your best interests, pending the alleged case outcome. Explained below is what to do if you are under arrest for any alleged Class 6 felony offense:
The aftermath of an arrest could be confusing, and you could feel the urge to prove your innocence to the officers, but you should not do that because the police are not your friend. Since whatever you decide to disclose to the officers can and could apply against you in court, it is advisable to remain silent.
Similarly, giving the arresting officer(s) any recorded or written statement is not wise because it could also act as evidence against you in court, minimizing your chances of beating the alleged charge.
Know Your Bail Options
Upon arrest for any alleged crime, you should consider your bail options because you are not yet guilty of the charge until the court's final verdict at trial. Posting bail allows you to have your needed freedom back pending the alleged charge's judgment, which can happen after two weeks, months, or even years.
Typically, most police stations will have a bail schedule, listing bail amounts for different types of crime. However, if the alleged crime is severe, you will have to wait for the arraignment or bail court proceeding, where a judge will determine the amount you should pay as bail. Here is what the judge will consider when determining your bail amount at this hearing:
- Whether or not you are a flight risk
- Nature of the alleged felony charge
- Your criminal background
- The roots or ties you have in your community
- Whether or not you a threat to the community
- Your past court appearances record
Since bail is not a punishment for the alleged offense, your bail amount should be fair. If you cannot afford the court-ordered bail amount, you should consider working with a bail bond agent to post the bail on your behalf.
Typically, most bail agents will require you to pay them ten percent of your total bail amount as a fee for their services. Then, the agent will post the entire bail on your behalf, pending the outcome of your case.
Hire a Defense Attorney
Undoubtedly, the most critical step to take after an arrest for any alleged offense is hiring a defense attorney. Since it is impossible to expunge or seal your criminal record after conviction, your defense attorney will be your voice in court to fight for a dismissal of the entire care or alternative less severe charge with less severe consequences.
Find a Defense Attorney Near Me
We invite you to call Phoenix Criminal Attorney at 602-551-8092 if you or your beloved friend is under investigation or charged with a Class 6 felony. Our attorneys understand how prosecutors and judges treat these cases and will fight aggressively to have the alleged charge dismissed or reduced to a less severe offense.