While misdemeanor offenses do not carry the most serious penalties imposed by the Arizona criminal code, the jail times, fines, and negative consequences can still be life-altering. Individuals suspected of wrongdoing may better understand the system and how best to defend themselves with guidance from a skilled and tenacious Chandler misdemeanor lawyer.
Our dedicated defense attorneys could assess the charges you face, explain your options, and help you protect your rights at all stages of your case.
What is a Misdemeanor Offense in Chandler?
Misdemeanor cases out of the city of Chandler, Arizona are usually heard at the Chandler Municipal Court or a nearby justice court. Misdemeanor crimes fall in between felonies like kidnapping and petty offenses like violating a local ordinance. For sentencing purposes, Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-601 divides misdemeanors into three classes. Class One is made up of offenses that result in damage to persons or property. They carry the most stringent penalties. Meanwhile, Class Three violations involve the least amount of violence and damage.
Unlawful behavior that falls within the definition of a misdemeanor includes shoplifting, disorderly conduct, lying to police, criminal speeding, and driving with a suspended license. Hiring a well-versed attorney in Chandler to prepare an aggressive misdemeanor defense strategy could help with obtaining the best possible results. Without competent representation, the accused may find themselves serving more jail time and paying more in fines than necessary.
Punishment for Committing a Misdemeanor
The primary penalties for misdemeanors include jail time and fines. Courts may order fines according to the schedule in Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-802. The maximum amount charged for misdemeanor fines are $500 for Class Three, $750 for Class Two, and $2,500 for Class One.
Likewise, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-707 outlines incarceration periods ranging from 30 days to six months in jail, depending on the circumstances of the misdemeanor. Aggravating circumstances may lengthen jail time and repeat offenders might be subject to an increase in the class of their misdemeanor violation.
In addition to fines and jail time, judges may order someone convicted of a misdemeanor to complete community service, pay restitution, or attend educational or counseling sessions. A judge may also suspend a driver’s license or revise a person’s probation plan, if appropriate.
By working with a dedicated attorney in Chandler who takes a personal interest in their client’s cases, a defendant may be more successful in fighting their misdemeanor charges and avoiding a criminal record.
Can a Misdemeanor Become a Felony?
If aggravating circumstances exist, prosecutors may take what is typically considered a minor offense and enhance it to a felony. This features increased sentencing. Factors that lead to a misdemeanor becoming a felony include:
- Repeat offenses
- The level of violence exhibited
- The presence of a deadly weapon
- The amount of drugs involved in a case
Consulting a lawyer familiar with misdemeanor offenses in Chandler could help a person minimize the serious penalties imposed on them.
Contact a Chandler Misdemeanor Attorney for Best Results
Seasoned attorneys could provide people facing misdemeanor charges with guidance and knowledge. Legal counsel could gather necessary evidence, review documents, interview witnesses, interact with police and prosecutors, and negotiate plea deals to help get you the best results for your case. This support may lift a heavy burden off you and your family and instill confidence that a positive outcome is possible.
Our experienced and compassionate Chandler misdemeanor lawyers are ready to review your case and provide the legal advice you need. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can start working on a defense strategy.