If you are facing felony charges in Pinal County, securing an experienced criminal defense attorney is likely one of your top priorities. Felonies not only carry heavy penalties, including jail time, but they also lead to marks on your permanent record that can cause difficulties securing employment and even housing. Retaining the services of an attorney like Matt Lopez will allow you to determine the best possible plan for reconciling your case, whether it is seeking dismissal, a reduction in charges, or defending the charges outright.
Common felony charges in Arizona
There is a wide range of felony charges that the Arizona penal code allows for, some ranging from more minor offenses to significant charges such as murder. Some of the most common felony charges that are filed in the state of Arizona include:
- Robbery or Aggravated Robbery
- Felony Aggravated Assault
- Felony DUI
- Aggravated Domestic Violence
- Child Abuse
- Fraud, Identify Theft, or Forgery
- Possession of drugs with the intent to sell or distribute
Felony classes in Pinal County
The class your felony charges fall into will be determined by the type of offense committed. It will determine the penalties that can come with a conviction. It is important to note that you can be charged with multiple felonies for one offense, which can result in longer possibly consecutive sentences. Felony classes range from 1 to 6, with 1 being the most severe, and 6 being the lowest. If convicted of a felony, sentences will be up to:
- 25 years to life in prison for class 1 felonies. First-degree murder can also carry a possible capital charge.
- 5 years for a class 2 felony.
- 3 1/2 years for a class 3 felony.
- 2 1/2 years for a class 4 felony.
- 1 1/2 years for a class 5 felony.
- 1 year for a class 6 felony.
These are the guidelines for sentencing based on the class of felony, but the judge will have the discretion to hand down a higher or lower sentence based on the case review and any mitigating factors. Sentences for felony convictions will be served in the state prison, and the eligible parole period will be determined by the judge hearing the case.
Arizona mandatory sentencing laws
The above sentencing guidelines are for first-time felony offenders. In cases where the conviction is the second or subsequent felony on the offender’s record, Arizona imposes mandatory sentencing laws. Under mandatory sentencing laws, the offender will not be eligible for a probation sentence, and the sentence can be enhanced depending on the previous history and severity of the crime. Mandatory sentencing laws can come into play when one of the following circumstances is present.
- The defendant has repeated offenses on their record.
- The defendant has been charged with what the court deems a “dangerous crime.”
- There was a deadly weapon used in an assault crime, such as a firearm.
- A weapon was used during an assault and battery case.
- Theft or robbery occurred with the use of a weapon.
Cases that fall under Arizona’s mandatory sentencing can be significantly more complicated and make reducing charges or seeking a desirable plea deal more difficult. In these cases or cases of repeat offenses, it is even more critical to find knowledgeable legal counsel to determine the best plan of action to minimize charges and possible sentencing outcomes or to come up with a strategy to successfully defend your case.