Class 3 Felony Crimes in Arizona


Facing a felony for the first time or as a repeat offender can be daunting. You may not know what to expect or whether you will receive jail time. In Arizona, a class 3 felony is considered a serious charge that can have harsh penalties if convicted. Due to the seriousness of these situations, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to better understand your rights and obtain strong representation. L

earn more about class 3 felonies in Arizona, the penalties you could face if convicted, and why you should contact JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law for help.

What Is a Class 3 Felony in Arizona?

In Arizona, felony crimes are divided into six categories ranging from class 1 to class 6. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors and often come with larger fines and possible jail or prison time. Receiving a felony conviction also results in a defendant losing their right to bear arms and vote.

A class 3 felony is the third most serious type of criminal offense in Arizona. If convicted, a defendant may face one of five sentences: a mitigating, presumptive, minimum, maximum, or aggravating sentence.

Minimum, maximum, and presumptive represent “standard” sentencing ranges. A judge could also impose a mitigated or aggravated sentence if certain circumstances exist, such as if a defendant is young or had minimal participation in the crime. An enhanced sentence may be given to a defendant who has a record of prior felonies.

Examples of a Class 3 Felony in Arizona

Class 3 felonies in Arizona can be categorized into two main groups: dangerous and non-dangerous offenses. Many different types of crimes can become a class 3 felony, as opposed to a different class of felony, based on the circumstances of the case. There are more than 40 different crimes that fall under class 3 felonies in Arizona. Some of the most common include:

  • Sexual abuse (if the victim is under 15 years of age)
  • Dangerous crimes against children
  • Burglary in the second degree
  • Discharging a firearm in a non-residential building
  • Certain types of aggravated assault
  • Transportation and sale of dangerous or narcotic drugs
  • Theft as a means of transportation.

Penalties for a Class 3 Felony

The penalties for a class 3 felony can range depending on the nature of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history. For non-dangerous class 3 penalties, a person could face between 2 and 8.75 years in prison if they have no prior felonies. They may also be eligible for probation. If the defendant has one prior felony, the sentence is between 3.25 and 16.25 years and for two or more felonies, it’s 7.5 to 25 years.

If a class 3 felony is charged as a dangerous offense, the penalties are often much stricter. With a dangerous offense, a gun or other dangerous weapon was likely used in the crime, resulting in an enhanced sentencing range. Defendants convicted of dangerous crimes are not eligible for probation and may face between 5 and 15 years in prison as first-time offenders.

Class 3 Felonies: Non-Dangerous Offenses

Class 2 felonies can either be non-dangerous or dangerous offenses. A non-dangerous offense typically has lighter penalties than a dangerous offense. If a defendant is convicted of a class 3 non-dangerous offense and has no previous felony conviction, he or she could face a sentence of between 2 and 8.9 years.

If a defendant is over 18 years of age, is tried as an adult, and is convicted of multiple class 3 felony offenses, they may be deemed a repetitive offender, resulting in higher prison terms. For the first or second offense, a person could receive between 2 and 8.9 years. For a third or subsequent offense, a person could face between 3.3 and 16.3 years.

There are separate sentencing ranges for defendants who are convicted of a class 3 felony and have historical prior felony convictions. For these individuals, the sentence can reach up to 25 years if a person has two or more felony convictions.

Class 3 Felonies: Dangerous Offenses

A dangerous offense is a crime that involves using, discharging, or threatening someone with a deadly weapon or other dangerous instruments, and knowingly causing serious physical injury. Examples of a class 3 dangerous crime include aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, discharging a firearm at a non-residential building, or attempting to commit a class 2 felony, such as sexual assault.

If you are convicted of a class 3 dangerous offense, you could face between 5 and 15 years if you have no prior class 1, 2, or 3 dangerous offenses, between 10 and 20 years if you have one previous offense, and between 15 and 25 years if you have two or more previous dangerous offenses.

Class 3 Felonies: Dangerous Crimes Against Children

When a defendant is charged with a class 3 felony for a crime against someone under the age of 15, it is treated by Arizona as a dangerous crime against a child. Due to the seriousness of these crimes, they often carry heftier penalties. Sentencing is based on

several factors, such as if the defendant has a criminal history and the nature of the crime.

For example, a class 3 aggravated assault would generally carry a prison sentence of 5 to 15 years for a first-time offender. However, if the victim was under the age of 15, the offense would be considered a dangerous crime against a child and would carry a sentence of up to 24 years.

Can a Class 3 Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

Under Arizona criminal law, felonies are treated differently than misdemeanors due to the severity of these crimes. Felonies typically involve violence, the use of dangerous weapons, non-consensual sex, serious injuries or death, or victims who are children or vulnerable.

There are certain ways that a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor. For example, a felony reduction could be achieved through a plea bargain or the completion of probation or a diversion program. If a defendant can prove that the felony elements of the crime are not present, he or she could also have their felony reduced.

Statute of Limitations for Class 3 Felonies in Arizona

The statute of limitations is valid in both civil and criminal cases in Arizona. This law refers to the deadline that a plaintiff must file charges against a defendant. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for class 3 felonies according to ARS 13-170 is seven years. However, this time limit only applies when the defendant is physically in the state. If he or she leaves the state, the clock essentially stops.

How JacksonWhite Can Help

Facing a class 3 felony conviction can be a stressful experience, especially when you don’t have reliable legal representation on your side. At JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law, our team of highly experienced criminal defense attorneys is ready to take on your case and assist you as you navigate the complex legal system.

JacksonWhite offers a full range of legal services to assist individuals charged with felony offenses. Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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