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What is a Felony?

What is a Felony?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.

What Is the Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor in Terms of Jail Time?

What Is the Difference Between a Felony and Misdemeanor in Terms of Jail Time?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.

Examples of Felony Offenses in Phoenix, Arizona

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 Felonies in Phoenix

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 in Phoenix

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 in Phoenix

Felony sex crimes generally result in registering as a sexual offender. Being a registered sex offender can also result in:

  • Residency restrictions on where you can live
  • Employment restrictions
  • Losing the right to communicate with minors without obtaining prior consent
  • Notification to neighbors of your status as a sexual offender
  • Computer monitoring by law enforcement officers
  • Restrictions on the right to consume alcoholic beverages

Felony sex crimes can include child pornography, rape, sexual conduct with a minor, and sexual abuse.

Felony Theft Crimes in Phoenix

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.

Felony Weapon Crimes in Phoenix

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.

What Are the Criminal Punishments for a Felony Conviction?

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:

  • Class 6 Felony – Two years in prison and a $150,000 fine
  • Class 5 Felony – Two and one-half years in prison and a fine of $150,000
  • Class 4 Felony – Three and three-fourths years in prison and a fine of $150,000
  • Class 3 Felony – Eight and three-fourths years in prison and a fine of $150,000
  • Class 2 Felony – Twelve and one-half years in prison and a fine of $150,000
  • Class 1 Felony – Death or life imprisonment and a fine of $150,000

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.

What Are the Collateral Consequences of a Felony Conviction?

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.

Do I Need a Phoenix Felony Defense Lawyer if I Am Arrested for a Felony Charge?

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:

  • Violations of your constitutional rights
  • Innocence
  • Lack of probable cause
  • Mistaken identity
  • Lack of evidence to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Illegal searches and seizures

It is never in your best interest to talk to the police or prosecutors without a lawyer present. Call an attorney 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.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers

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.

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