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Phoenix Misdemeanor Lawyer

Phoenix Misdemeanor Lawyer

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor in Phoenix, AZ, you deserve a strong defense to fight for your future and your reputation. While a misdemeanor offense is generally less serious than a felony in Arizona, it can still carry harsh and life-changing penalties.

For more than 33 years, Craig Orent of Orent Law Offices has fought on behalf of Phoenix residents facing all types of criminal offenses including Phoenix theft crimes, domestic violence, drug charges, Phoenix sex crimes, DUI, federal crimes, juvenile crimes, assault defense

Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix misdemeanor lawyer who will help you build the strongest defense possible.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You’re Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Phoenix, Arizona

Misdemeanor charges should be taken seriously as they can carry jail time, affect your rights and reputation, and have an impact on child custody and divorce. Depending on the misdemeanor offense you are facing, you may even be at risk of an elevated felony charge or increased penalties like the loss of your driver’s license.

When you are facing a misdemeanor criminal charge, you deserve the best possible legal defense to protect your future and your freedom. Orent Law Offices is here to help you navigate the criminal justice system and fight for your rights.

Founding attorney Craig Orent has over 33 years of legal experience. As a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer, he has earned recognition as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. This prestigious designation is shared by just 3% of Arizona defense lawyers.

When you choose Orent Law Offices to represent you, he will put his reputation and experience to work on your behalf to:

  • Offer insightful legal advice and guidance.
  • Perform a careful investigation into your case
  • Protect your constitutional rights
  • Search for exculpatory evidence to raise reasonable doubt or prove innocence
  • Work with top experts in many fields to refute the prosecution’s evidence and claims.
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor for dismissed or reduced charges or alternative punishment to avoid jail and other harsh penalties
  • Present a persuasive case to the jury

Contact Orent Law Offices today for a free consultation with a Phoenix misdemeanor lawyer who will not rest in building the strongest defense possible.

Overview of Misdemeanors in Arizona

Criminal offenses in Arizona can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-601.

There are three classifications of misdemeanors in Arizona:

  • Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious.
  • Class 2 misdemeanors
  • Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious misdemeanor offenses.

Each misdemeanor classification carries a minimum and maximum penalty. However, many misdemeanor offenses can be elevated to felony charges if there are aggravating circumstances.

Common Misdemeanor Offenses in Phoenix, AZ

There are many offenses in Arizona that fall under misdemeanor offenses.

At Orent Law Offices, we represent clients facing all types of misdemeanors, including:

If you are a misdemeanor charge, it’s important to consult with an experienced Phoenix misdemeanor defense lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the offense and the circumstances of your case, the penalties can be severe.

Aggravating Circumstances Can Elevate a Misdemeanor Offense to a Felony

A misdemeanor charge in Phoenix, Arizona, can easily become a more serious felony charge if there are aggravating circumstances in your case. You may even be charged initially with a misdemeanor but have your charge upgraded after law enforcement investigates your alleged offense.

Common misdemeanors that can rise to felony charges include:

  • Assault (aggravated assault)
  • DUI (aggravated DUI charges)
  • Domestic violence (aggravated domestic violence)
  • Theft (grand theft charges)
  • Drug charges, particularly drug possession, which may become felony drug possession or even drug trafficking based on the type and amount of drugs found

Whether you will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony may depend on whether there are any aggravating factors involved.

An otherwise misdemeanor assault can become aggravated assault if it involves the use of a deadly weapon or instrument, a child 15 or younger, an assault against a protected person, or serious injury.

A Phoenix DUI is usually a misdemeanor, but it may be a felony charge under certain circumstances. Under ARS § 28-1383, this includes a third DUI offense within 7 years, it causes injury, there is a minor passenger, or it is a DUI with a suspended license.

What Are the Penalties for a Misdemeanor in Phoenix, Arizona?

Misdemeanors may be considered lesser crimes under Arizona law, but the repercussions can still be serious.

Depending on the type of misdemeanor offense you are facing, and whether there are aggravating factors, you may be facing penalties such as:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Supervised probation
  • Restitution
  • Loss of your driver’s license
  • Loss of your right to own a gun
  • Anger management, drug, or DUI treatment program

Possible jail time and fees for a misdemeanor depending on the misdemeanor class.

You may face the following:

  • Class 1 misdemeanor: up to 6 months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: up to 4 months in jail and up to $750 in fines
  • Class 3 misdemeanor: up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines

The specific punishments you face vary wildly by type of offense, however. With a DUI, for example, you face costs that can far exceed $2,500 due to mandatory surcharges, penalties, and costly DUI classes. You may also face mandatory license suspension and the requirement of an ignition interlock device (IID).

Even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction can also result in additional penalties. This includes mandatory domestic violence courses (at your expense) and potentially a restraining order against you. A domestic violence charge can interfere with your ability to return to your home as well as child custody, visitation, and divorce issues.

Do not be fooled by the seemingly minor penalties for a misdemeanor conviction in Arizona. Unfortunately, many people simply accept a misdemeanor conviction without putting up a fight. This is especially true for first-time offenders who may avoid jail time with a conviction.

Even if you avoid jail time, a misdemeanor conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. You will have a permanent criminal record that is visible to potential employers, landlords, and more. Certain misdemeanor offenses, including theft and drug crimes, also carry a harsh social stigma and may bar you from certain types of employment. Several misdemeanors can also lead to a felony conviction or harsh penalties.

What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Misdemeanor Crime in Arizona?

There may be many defense strategies available to you in a misdemeanor criminal case. The best defense strategy will depend on the type and nature of the alleged offense, whether you have a prior criminal record and other factors.

Violations of Your Constitutional Rights

At Orent Law Offices, our defense approach begins with investigating your case for any violations of your constitutional rights.

This may include an illegal search and seizure or a violation of your right to counsel. If we discover your rights were violated, we will move to have evidence obtained through the illegal action suppressed. This means it cannot be used against you in court.

Lack of Required Mental State

Many offenses require proving you were in the required mental state to commit the crime. We may have grounds to undermine the state’s case against you if you were not behaving recklessly or lacked intent.

Insufficient or Unreliable Evidence

A lack of evidence is a strong defense in many misdemeanor cases. The prosecution has the burden to prove you committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If they lack evidence, we will fight to have your charge dismissed or seek an acquittal in court. Many misdemeanor offenses, including domestic violence and simple drug possession, lack sufficient evidence.

We may also dispute evidence that is used against you. This may involve the use of expert testimony to refute the state’s findings. In the case of a breath test in a DUI defense, we can argue against the validity of the results using many proven strategies. These tests have many known issues, including false positives from health conditions or waiting too long after being stopped, which can allow your BAC to rise.

The state will only be looking for evidence that they believe proves you committed the crime or makes you look guilty. We will work to gather exculpatory evidence that establishes your innocence or raises reasonable doubt.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Our Phoenix Misdemeanor Lawyer

Have you been charged with a crime in Maricopa County, Arizona? Even a misdemeanor conviction can seriously impact your life with potential jail time, hefty fines, and the possibility of an elevated charge. At Orent Law Offices, we will put our 33 years of experience to work for you.

Contact our law firm to schedule a free case review with an aggressive Phoenix misdemeanor lawyer who will fight for your rights and freedom. We will help you explore potential defense strategies and seek the best possible case resolution.

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