Felony as a crime is more serious than a misdemeanor crime. The conviction of a felony crime generally results in harsher penalties. Arizona’s criminal law defines a misdemeanor or a felony crime and the punishments for the crime.
When the police arrest you, the prosecutor charges you with a criminal offense. Crimes in Arizona are charged as felonies or misdemeanors.
Some crimes are defined as wobbler offenses. Wobbler offenses may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Knowing the difference between felonies and misdemeanors is crucial so that you know the potential criminal penalties you face for a conviction.
A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by not more than one year in jail or prison. In most cases, the terms of imprisonment for a misdemeanor are served in county jail.
Felonies can result in a jail sentence of more than one year. Individuals convicted of a felony offense are sent to a state prison facility to serve their jail sentence.
Felony offenses are serious crimes. They often involve violent crimes against other individuals or serious crimes that pose a severe threat to the public. Examples of felony offenses in Arizona include, but are not limited to:
Violent felony crimes include domestic violence, first-degree murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, and arson. These crimes cause severe bodily injury or death to another person.
Felony drug crimes include marijuana cultivation, drug trafficking, and prescription fraud. Drug possession can also be a felony charge depending on the amount and type of drug in your possession.
Felony sex crimes generally result in registering as a sexual offender. Being a registered sex offender can also result in:
Felony sex crimes can include child pornography, rape, sexual conduct with a minor, and sexual abuse.
Felony theft crimes can include embezzlement, grand theft, robbery, and burglary. The amount of the theft can mean the difference between a felony charge and a misdemeanor theft charge.
Weapon and gun crimes charges as felonies can include carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, discharging a firearm during gang activity, and possessing prohibited deadly weapons. Felony weapon charges may also fall under federal law.
Felonies are punished with prison, fines, and other penalties. The penalties are based on the class of felony, aggravating factors, and other facts of the case.
The prison sentences and fines for felonies in Arizona can range up to:
Judges have some discretion when sentencing a person for a felony conviction. The judge considers all relevant factors, including the impact on the victim and the public.
A felony conviction results in a criminal record. Therefore, you may lose some civil rights, including voting and possessing a firearm. You also face other collateral consequences for a felony conviction.
For example, you can have trouble finding a job. Some employers may look unfavorably at a felony criminal record. The same applies to housing, so you might have difficulty finding a place to rent or lease after serving time for a felony conviction.
You could be deported for a felony conviction if you are an immigrant. Immediately after serving your prison sentence, you could be deported to your country of origin.
Yes, it is in your best interest to contact a felony defense lawyer immediately. Your attorney investigates the criminal charges against you to develop a defense strategy. Potential defenses to felony charges include, but are not limited to:
It is never in your best interest to talk to the police or prosecutors without a lawyer present. Call a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix immediately if you discover you are under investigation for a felony crime. The sooner you have legal representation, the better chance you have of beating felony charges in Phoenix.
You have the right to legal counsel when facing criminal charges. Contact our law office to schedule a free case review to learn about your legal rights and the ways our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys can help you fight felony charges.