Class of Felonies in Arizona
When you hear about someone getting a felony charge, you might not realize that there are six classes of felony charges that could apply to a circumstance. Felonies, as a whole, consist of crimes that have a punishment of a year or more in a state prison. Coolidge Law has vast experience in the courtroom and building strategic defenses for those charged with felonies in the Phoenix area. There are several classes of felony offenses, and we want to help you understand the differences.
Different Types of Felonies
The judicial system consists of different categories based on the type of crimes committed, and have set sentencing structure for each category. The sentencing structure is based upon whether the crime has aggravating or mitigating circumstances. The aggravated circumstances have a more severe punishment than the initial presumptive sentencing, while the mitigating circumstances are shorter-term sentences based on the defendant’s age or limited involvement in the crime. The following are the presumptive, or set, sentencing terms for the different classes of felonies:
- Class 1 Felony: The most serious crimes committed are charged as class 1 felonies. The only class 1 felonies in Arizona consist of first and second-degree murder. First-degree murder has consequences of life imprisonment or death, while second-degree murder has consequences of 16 years to life in prison.
- Class 2 Felony: The presumptive sentencing consists of five to 12.5 years in prison.
- Class 3 Felony: The minimum sentence for class 3 felonies is 3.5 years in prison with the aggravated sentencing being up to 8.75 years, with probation possibilities.
- Class 4 Felony: Initial sentencing for class 4, includes imprisonment for 2.5 years to 3.75 years, with the possibility of probation.
- Class 5 Felony: Presumptive sentencing for class 5 consists of two years imprisonment, with up to 2.5 years with aggravating terms. Probation is available.
- Class 6 Felony: These are the least serious crimes under the laws of Arizona. The presumptive sentencing starts at one year in prison, with the aggravating sentencing becoming 2 years in prison, with the option of probation.
As each felony has its set sentencing term through presumptive sentencing, there are mitigating and aggravating circumstances that would affect the judge’s final decision on sentencing. Along with the imprisonment, there are other consequences enforced as punishment for the crimes.
With the imprisonment sentencing that is established, the judge has just cause to implement fines against the defendant for their crimes. The fines can be up to $150,000 for the convicted individual for restitution towards the victim, the courts, or towards the community.
Whether you are facing class 1 or class 6 felony charges, Todd Coolidge is here to help! Contact us today to learn more about your specific charges and the sentencing that is possible.