Class 6 Felony Crimes in Arizona


No one ever expects to be involved in a crime that results in a felony conviction. However, when these incidents happen, it’s important to react appropriately by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who will explain your rights and fight on your behalf.

In Arizona, felonies are divided into six classes, ranging from 1 to 6. Class 1 is the most serious type of felony and includes crimes like first-degree and second-degree murder. Class 6 is the least serious type of felony and includes crimes like theft of a firearm and witness tampering.

If you have been charged with a class 6 felony in Arizona, don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Learn more about class 6 felonies, the penalties of these crimes, and how the experienced legal team at JacksonWhite Law can assist you with your case.

What Is a Class 6 Felony in Arizona?

A class 6 felony is the least severe type in Arizona, typically resulting in fines, probation, and/or a jail sentence of between 4 months and 5.75 years. What makes a class 6 felony unique is that a prosecutor has the option to change the charge to a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are less serious and unlike felonies, do not result in prison time.

While misdemeanors are the least severe out of all the classes, penalties can increase in certain scenarios. For example, a defendant may face a harsher penalty if the crime is deemed a “dangerous” offense, if the crime was against a child, if there were aggravating factors, if it was a repeat offense, or if the defendant has a criminal history.

Examples of a Class 6 Felony in Arizona

Class 6 felonies are also referred to as “wobblers” as prosecutors have the option to pursue them as misdemeanors or felony-level offenses. There are more than 200 crimes that fall under class 6 felonies in Arizona. Some of these crimes include:

  • Theft (if the value of the stolen items was between $2,000 and $3,000)
  • Possession of burglary tools
  • Shoplifting
  • Resisting arrest
  • Sexual conduct with a minor (if the victim is 15 years old or younger)
  • Unlawful discharge of a firearm
  • Aggravated domestic violence
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Penalties for a Class 6 Felony

The consequences of a class 6 felony conviction can range based on several factors, such as the nature of the crime, whether the crime is deemed dangerous or non-dangerous, and if the defendant has one or more prior felonies.

With no prior felonies, a class 6 felony could result in a sentence of 4 months to 2 years. The defendant may also be eligible for probation. With one prior felony, the sentence could range from 9 months to 2.75 years, and with two or more felonies, the sentence could range from 2.25 to 5.75 years.

A defendant may face a more severe punishment if the crime is a “dangerous” offense or if the victim was a child under the age of 15.

Class 6 Felonies: Non-Dangerous Offenses

In Arizona, a non-dangerous offense typically comes with a lighter sentence, compared to a dangerous offense that involves violence or the use of a deadly weapon. Some examples of non-dangerous class 6 felony offenses include theft, shoplifting, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

If you have been charged with a class 6 non-dangerous offense, you could face between 4 months and 2 years if you have no prior felony convictions, between 9 months and 2.9 years if you have one prior felony conviction, or between 2.3 years and 5.9 years if you have two or more prior felony convictions. If you are a repeat offender, the punishment may be considerably more severe.

Class 6 Felonies: Dangerous Offenses

For a crime to be considered “dangerous” under Arizona law, the defendant must have knowingly caused serious physical harm to another person, or used, threatened with, or discharged a deadly weapon or another dangerous instrument. Due to the seriousness of these crimes, they often come with harsher penalties.

If you have no history of felony-level dangerous offenses, you could face a 1.6-to-3-year sentence. The sentence for defendants with one prior felony-level dangerous offense is between 3 and 4.6 years, and for defendants with two or more felony-level dangerous offenses, the sentence is 4.6 to 6 years. Repeat offenders may face stiffer penalties.

Class 6 Felonies: Dangerous Crimes Against Children

Many factors can influence penalties for a class 6 felony, including the age of the victim. In Arizona, a class 6 felony is considered a dangerous crime against a child if the victim involved is under the age of 15.

Dangerous crimes against children are considered especially heinous in Arizona and come with their own sentencing range, often with longer prison sentences. For example, sexual conduct with a minor as a first-time offender may come with a sentence of 4 months to 2 years; however, if the victim is under 15 years old, the defendant could face a lengthier prison sentence of between 13 and 27 years.

Can a Class 6 Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

In Arizona, a class 6 felony is typically the only type of felony that can be reduced to a misdemeanor. According to ARS 13-604, if a person is convicted of a class 6 felony and the associated crime is not a dangerous offense, the court could potentially designate the crime as a class 1 misdemeanor.

This can occur if the judge believes that a felony ruling would be unduly harsh, such as in the case of a first-time offender. However, if a defendant has been convicted of two or more felonies, the crime cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can greatly increase your odds of having your class 6 felony reduced at sentencing.

Statute of Limitations for Class 6 Felonies in Arizona

The statute of limitations refers to a law that specifies the maximum amount of time that legal proceedings, whether criminal or civil, can begin after an alleged crime.

In Arizona, the statute of limitations for class 6 felonies is 7 years, meaning a prosecutor has 7 years to file a felony charge after an offense has been committed. If a prosecutor does not file within this time frame, then a criminal defense attorney can use the statute of limitations as a defense in court. If the defense is successful, the court could dismiss the charges.

Class 6 felonies can also be charged as misdemeanors, which have a statute of limitations in Arizona of one year. However, even if a class 6 felony is charged as a misdemeanor, the prosecution still has up to 7 years to file a charge against the defendant. This timeframe pauses when the defendant is absent from the state.

How JacksonWhite Can Help

It’s never easy to hear that you’ve been charged with a felony but you do have options. If you are facing a class 6 felony charge, it’s imperative to speak with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and build a strong defense. The legal experts at JacksonWhite have decades of experience handling felony cases and can assist you with your class 6 felony charge.

Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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