Throughout the country, each crime is classified differently, and its sentencing and implications change. In Arizona, the two different categories of criminal charges are misdemeanor and felony. In this content page, you will find information on which courts handle felonies, some examples of felonies, and the implications of being convicted of a felony. If you are facing a felony charge, working with a talented defense attorney is essential. Do not hesitate to speak with a Flagstaff felony lawyer right away.
Which courts handle what?
In Arizona, felonies and their sentences are designated by the Arizona Revised Statutes and are heard by superior courts across the state, as opposed to misdemeanors and minor infractions, which are generally undertaken by municipal and justice courts. Each county in Arizona has a superior court that has jurisdiction over the felony cases that occur within its county boundaries. For instance, the superior court that would handle felony cases in Flagstaff would be Coconino County Superior Court. These superior courts are specific to the state of Arizona, and are distinct from federal courts, which are under the jurisdiction of the US Federal Government.
What are some 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
Implications of a Felony Conviction
Each class of felony has a different set of minimum and maximum sentences, and what a certain defendant receives in one case can differ from another even if their charges were the same. Depending on the prosecutor, the judge, the mitigating and aggravating factors, and other facts of the case, there is a pretty large spectrum of fines, prison time, probation (if eligible). However, one thing that all felony convictions have in common is that they will likely affect everyday life for someone convicted of one, including employment through criminal background checks, insurance (especially for vehicle-related violations), and immigration, as many can have their visa or immigration status jeopardized by a conviction.
Contact a Flagstaff Felony Attorney Right Away
As you can see, felonies are an extremely serious designation of crime. Oftentimes, people see the consequences of a conviction even after serving a sentence. If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony in Flagstaff, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Coconino County Felony Attorneys at The Law Offices of Brandon White. We can help you review your case, gather evidence in your favor, negotiate with prosecutors, and work towards the best outcome possible with your interests at heart. Schedule a free consultation today!