What Are Considered Felony Offenses in Chandler?
Under the Criminal Code of the Arizona Revised Statutes, felonies are the most serious unlawful behavior. This kind of criminal conduct ranges from burglary, as outlined in Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-1505 - 13-508, to sexual assault, aggravated assault, kidnapping, certain white-collar crimes, and arson.
Countering such charges depends on the specific crime alleged and the circumstances of a situation. Hiring an attorney who is well-educated in felony offenses could help an accused person in Chandler build a strong defense.
Discrete Classes of Felonies
Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-601(A) divides felonies into six classifications. Class One felonies are the most serious and Class Six are the least. As explained in Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-602, the section detailing a specific crime will generally identify the correlating class level. However, if the section does not state a classification, the felony is a Class Five offense.
The least severe felony violations—Class Six—are wobbler offenses, meaning that the court has the power to reduce a charge to a Class One misdemeanor in certain circumstances. Such reclassifications are desirable as they could lessen the penalties imposed and reduce the jail time associated with a violation.
If you have been charged with a felony crime, a lawyer in Chandler could help you understand the class of the violation and how to potentially reduce your conviction.
Examples of Felony Charges
Under ARS § 13-601, each class of felony is laid out for the purposes of sentencing. In Arizona, felony offenses range from the least serious class 6 to the most serious class 1. Keep in mind that the penalty of each of these classes is subject to aggravating or mitigating factors, or facts of the case that increase or decrease the severity of a crime respectively.
- Class 1: First- and second-degree murder
- Class 2: Manslaughter, armed burglary
- Class 3: Assault with a deadly weapon, automobile theft, burglary in a residential area
- Class 4: Credit card scanning, assault with strangulation
- Class 5: Aggravated domestic violence, stalking,
- Class 6*: Witness tampering, shoplifting, drug paraphernalia possession
*Some class 6 felonies may, at the discretion of the court, be demoted to misdemeanor status upon the violator serving the sentence
Penalties for Committing a Felony in Arizona
The punishment imposed for a felony conviction depends on the Class of the violation. However, those convicted will likely serve at least a year or more in prison and pay significant fines. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-702(D) establishes minimum, maximum, and presumptive prison sentences for Classes Two through Six.
For example, the presumptive amount of prison time for Class Two violations is ten years, but those convicted could receive a minimum of four to a maximum of 12.5 years. Separate code sections 13-710 and 13-752 establish the sentencing guidelines for Class One offenses. In all cases, a sentencing judge may consider mitigating and aggravating factors to reduce or increase the number of years an individual spends in prison.
Anyone facing the hefty penalties associated with felony charges should consider retaining aggressive legal counsel before interacting with authorities. A lawyer in Chandler could help a defendant challenge felony charges and take advantage of the appropriate plea deal opportunities.
Other Consequences that Follow a Felony Conviction
In addition to fines and incarceration, a convicted person will have the burden of a criminal record. A criminal record can have a significant impact on all aspects of one’s life including:
- The loss of voting rights
- Interference with educational, employment, and housing opportunities
- Increased difficulty securing loans, such as mortgages or educational financing
- The removal or exclusion from specific licensing or certifications
With such far-reaching consequences, it may be wise to work with an experienced attorney to devise a comprehensive strategy that addresses all potential penalties associated with a felony indictment.
Consult a Seasoned Chandler Felony Attorney and Protect Your Future
You do not have to face the justice system alone. With a skilled Chandler felony lawyer on your side, you have a knowledgeable advocate working for you.
So, if you are facing a felony case out of the city of Chandler, Arizona, your case will likely be assigned to the Maricopa County Superior Court. Our team of attorneys is well-experienced with this Court and would be happy to help you navigate it. Please do not hesitate to call us so that we can begin reviewing your case and building a defense strategy. Our team is dedicated to fighting for a positive case outcome and reducing the impact of felony charges on your life.