People often underestimate the power of misdemeanor convictions and let small arrests slide without taking the time to fight the offense in court. It is important to keep in mind that misdemeanor offenses in Arizona carry stiff penalties much like felonies do, and several misdemeanors can in turn lead to a felony conviction. If you have recently been arrested for a misdemeanor offense and are arrested for the same offense only 2 weeks later, you may be facing felony charges depending on the crime. It is therefore important to contact an experienced Phoenix Misdemeanor Lawyer rather than attempt to represent yourself in order to ensure you do not receive a criminal conviction for charges that could easily be taken off your record.
Misdemeanor crimes include a wide range of offenses throughout the state of Arizona. Arizona classifies misdemeanors into “classes.” A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most severe, while a Class 3 is the least severe. Misdemeanor charges are typically brought in justice courts or municipal courts which are slightly different from courts where felony charges are brought. Additionally, most misdemeanor cases are brought to a judge alone rather than heard in front of a jury.
Misdemeanor offenses in Arizona include the following:
This list is not inclusive, and misdemeanor crimes occur in a number of circumstances and involve a number of different fact patterns. Misdemeanor offenses can often occur in situations in which you are not aware that a crime was committed. An experienced Phoenix misdemeanor lawyer can assist you in tackling the language of the Arizona statute and formulating a defense strategy that will work for your unique case.
The punishment ranges for misdemeanors include the following:
|Type of Misdeameanor||Punishment||Fines|
|Class 1 Misdemeanor||Up to 6 months in jail||Up to $2,500|
|Class 2 Misdemeanor||Up to 4 months in jail||Up to $750|
|Class 3 Misdemeanor||Up to 30 days in jail||Up to $500|
The difference between a Class 2 and Class 1 misdemeanor involves quite a heightened fine as well as an extended jail stay. In addition to each fine amount, keep in mind that you will also have to pay court costs and attorney’s fees. In the end, it can be quite pricey to bring a misdemeanor charge to court, but it is still drastically less severe than the cost of defending a felony arrest in court.
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor offense in Arizona, do not wait until the last minute to contact a Phoenix misdemeanor lawyer. Misdemeanor charges may seem like relatively small offenses, but can lead to debilitating criminal charges which will remain on your record for the rest of your life. Phoenix criminal defense attorney Craig Orent of the Orent Law Offices has over 25 years of experience in handling misdemeanor claims. He understands that most people who commit misdemeanor offenses may be frightened about their future and will work hard to ensure their criminal record is not damaged.