If you have committed a misdemeanor offense in the state of Arizona, know that a conviction could lead to serving jail time. Common misdemeanors in the state of Arizona include:
- Underage drinking
- Simple assault
- Possession of marijuana
- Domestic violence offenses
- And more
Misdemeanor offenses will not lead to prison time like felony offenses, but the possibility of extensive fines and jail time means a misdemeanor charge can have a significant impact on a defendant’s life if convicted.
Arizona law outlines three classes of misdemeanors that can result in jail time, and the penalties for a misdemeanor conviction will depend on which category the misdemeanor offense falls under.
Arizona Misdemeanor Classifications and Penalties
Arizona law classifies misdemeanor offenses based on the severity of the offense committed. The penalties for each class of misdemeanor are based on A.R.S. §13-707. Based on this Arizona statute, the least severe form of misdemeanor that may result in jail time is a Class 3 misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor, a defendant may receive 12 months probation, be fined $500 and may be sentenced up to 30 days in jail.
Examples of Class 3 misdemeanors in Arizona include, but are not limited to:
- Simple assault (touching with intent to injure or provoke)
- Criminal speeding
- Criminal trespass in the third degree
- Criminal nuisance
- Violation of promise to appear
Class 2 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 2 years of probation, a $750 fine and a maximum sentence of 4 months in jail. Examples of Arizona Class 2 misdemeanors include, but are not limited to:
- Assault (assaults that include the threat of injury, specifically)
- Reckless driving (first offense)
- Criminal trespassing in the second degree
A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious classification of misdemeanor in Arizona, and as such, a Class 1 conviction results in the most severe misdemeanor punishments. A Class 1 conviction may lead to 3 years of probation, a $2,500 fine and a maximum of 6 months in jail.
Class 1 misdemeanor examples include, but are not limited to:
- Assault that causes physical injury
- Domestic violence offenses, including disorderly conduct
- Possession of marijuana if cited by an Arizona police officer
Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction
The potential ramifications of a misdemeanor conviction go beyond the penalties listed previously. If convicted of a misdemeanor, the offense could end up being a part of your permanent criminal record. Whether you are seeking a new job or plan on going to graduate school, having a misdemeanor conviction on your record makes those pursuits more difficult.
Additionally, having a prior misdemeanor conviction can lead to more severe convictions for additional misdemeanor offenses that lead to a conviction. Given these consequences, it is of paramount importance that Arizona defendants charged with a misdemeanor seek an Arizona criminal defense lawyer who will fight to have misdemeanor charges reduced or dismissed.
An Arizona criminal defense attorney will evaluate your case and craft the strongest possible legal defense on your behalf. This includes raising legal defenses that will lead to a dismissal of any and all misdemeanor charges if possible.
And, if dismissal of charges is not possible, a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer will help negotiate plea agreements and/or will represent you at a bench or jury trial to give you the best chance of having your misdemeanor charges reduced. No matter what misdemeanor charge or classification level you have received, contacting a Phoenix criminal defense attorney at Tyler Allen Law Firm should be your first course of action after being charged. We’ve got the experience you need to get the best outcome for your case. Contact us today at (602)456-0545.