Class 2 Felony Crimes in Arizona

Like all states in the U.S., Arizona divides offenses into misdemeanors and felonies. Felonies are the most serious crimes that a person can commit and carry potential prison sentences. Arizona divides felonies into six classes, with class 1 being the most serious and class 6 being the least serious. Each of these classes includes five sentences, which include mitigating, minimum, presumptive, maximum, and aggravating sentences.

If you are facing a class 2 felony, you may be unsure of what you can expect in terms of penalties and your future. While each case is unique, class 2 felonies in Arizona can have harsh repercussions, especially when you don’t have strong legal representation on your side. Learn more about class 2 felonies in Arizona, what penalties these crimes carry, and how JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law can assist you with your felony case.

What Is a Class 2 Felony in Arizona?

A charge of a class 2 felony is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. In Arizona, a class 2 felony is one of the most serious categories of crimes, second only to murder. Penalties for a class 2 felony can vary based on a variety of factors, such as the nature of the crime and if the defendant has any prior felony convictions. If the defendant is not a first-time offender, he or she could face significantly stiffer penalties.

Examples of a Class 2 Felony in Arizona

Felonies refer to a wide range of crimes that are considered very serious and therefore carry greater penalties compared to less serious crimes, such as misdemeanors or infractions. In Arizona, there are more than 50 types of class 2 felony crimes. Some of the most common include:

  • Manslaughter
  • Armed robbery
  • Drive by shooting
  • Burglary in the first degree
  • Arson of an occupied structure
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Sexual assault

Class 2 felonies can also be further broken down into three main types of offenses, including non-dangerous offenses, dangerous offenses, and dangerous crimes against children. Sentencing for a class 2 felony is majorly based on what category the crime falls under.

Penalties for a Class 2 Felony

The penalties for a class 2 felony can vary based on the nature of the crime and the number of previous felony convictions. If the defendant has had no previous felonies, he or she could receive 3 to 12.5 years in prison and may be eligible for probation.

If the defendant has one prior felony conviction, he or she could face 4.5 to 23 years in prison. For two or more previous felony convictions, the defendant could be sentenced to 10.5 to 35 years in prison.

It is up to the judge to determine the sentencing range based on the defendant’s crime and criminal history. If a defendant has no prior felonies, a judge may decide to sentence the defendant to only probation without prison time.

Class 2 Felonies: Non-Dangerous Offenses

As the name implies, a non-dangerous offense is a crime that does not inflict physical harm to another person or involves threatening another person with harm using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

Some examples of non-dangerous class 2 felonies include first-degree money laundering, theft by extortion, theft of property valued at $25,000 or more, first-degree trafficking in stolen property, owning or operating a chop shop, or certain severe drug-related crimes.

Defendants that are convicted of non-dangerous offenses may face between 3 and 12.5 years if they have no prior felonies or are a Category 1 repetitive offender, between 4.6 and 23 years if they are a class 2 repetitive offender, and between 10.5 and 35 years if they are a category 3 repetitive offender.

Class 2 Felonies: Dangerous Offenses

In Arizona, a class 2 dangerous offense is a crime that involves the knowing infliction of a serious physical injury on another person or the discharge, use, or threatening with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon.

If you are convicted of a dangerous class 2 felony, you could face between 7 and 21 years if you have no prior felonies, between 14 and 28 years if you have only one prior dangerous offense conviction, and between 21 and 35 years if you have two or more prior convictions for dangerous offenses.

Class 2 Felonies: Dangerous Crimes Against Children

A dangerous crime against a child is considered an eligible offense in which the victim is under 15 years of age. Some examples of a dangerous crimes against a child include sex trafficking, sexual assault, sexual abuse, kidnapping, child molestation, second-degree murder, or using a minor in a drug offense.

Arizona law uses a separate set of sentencing ranges when sentencing defendants convicted of dangerous crimes against children. For a first-time offense, a person could face between 10 and 24 years in prison. If the defendant has had one or more predicate

felonies, the sentence could range from 21 to 35 years in prison. In Arizona, sentencing is more severe when the victim is underage.

Can a Class 2 Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

Felony reduction is the process of reducing what would be a felony conviction into a less serious misdemeanor conviction. There are certain types of felonies that could potentially be reduced to misdemeanors, such as a hit and run, DUI, driving with a suspended license, or possession of a stolen vehicle.

Generally, a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor in one of four ways: through a plea bargain, completion of probation, completion of a diversion program, or by showing that the elements of a felony in the crime are missing. Due to the seriousness of class 2 felonies, it can be very difficult to have one reduced to a misdemeanor.

Statute of Limitations for Class 2 Felonies in Arizona

Nearly all crimes in Arizona have a statute of limitations, meaning that a prosecutor must initiate criminal proceedings within a specific period of time. According to ARS 13-170, the statute of limitations in Arizona for class 2 felonies is seven years.

However, it is important to note that the time limits in the statute of limitations in Arizona are only applicable when a defendant is physically present in the state. When not in Arizona, the clock essentially stops and does not count toward the seven-year statute of limitations.

There are certain exceptions in which the statute of limitations in Arizona does not apply. There is no time limit for murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide. There is also no time limit for violent sexual assaults, class 2 felony sex offenses, class 2 sexual exploitation of a child, child sex trafficking, misuse of public monies, and felonies that involve the falsifying of public records.

How JacksonWhite Can Help

Being charged with a class 2 felony can be an overwhelming experience, especially when you don’t know what to expect. It can be difficult to navigate the complex legal system on your own and even more difficult to have serious charges reduced or dropped. If you have been charged with a class 2 felony, it is critical to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

The dedicated team of reputable attorneys at JacksonWhite has decades of experience handling felony cases. Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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