If you have been charged with a felony, you may be wondering what consequences you’ll face if convicted. In Arizona, a felony conviction could potentially result in large fines and time behind bars. If this is your second or third offense, the outlook may be much worse.
Felonies are divided into six main categories in Arizona, ranging from class 1 to class 6. Class 1 felonies are the most severe and include crimes like first-degree and second-degree murder. Class 6 is the least severe and can sometimes be reduced to a misdemeanor. While class 5 may be the second least severe type of felony, it can still lead to serious consequences.
Learn more about class 5 felonies in Arizona, the penalties and statute of limitations for these types of crimes, and how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate your legal options and achieve the best possible outcome.
What Is a Class 5 Felony in Arizona?
Getting arrested on felony charges can be a stressful experience. While a class 5 felony is one of the least severe types of felonies, a person could still face harsh consequences if convicted.
If lawmakers do not state a class for a felony, it is usually punishable as a class 5 felony. This type of felony generally has a presumptive sentence of two years and an aggravated sentence of two years and six months.
Examples of class 5 felonies in Arizona include pimping and pandering, a crime in which a person profits from or facilitates prostitution.
Examples of a Class 5 Felony in Arizona
In Arizona, a crime can either be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is a less severe type of crime that results in probation or possibly a jail sentence of less than one year.
Felonies, on the other hand, are more serious and can result in lengthy prison sentences. A convicted felon also loses certain rights, such as the right to vote or bear arms.
More than 150 crimes are classified as class 5 felonies in Arizona. Some of the most common include:
- Possession of a forgery device
- Certain types of aggravated assault
- Fraudulent use of a credit card (if the value exceeds $1,000)
- Theft (if the value stolen is between $2,000 and $3,000)
- Criminal damage (if the damages are between $2,000 and $10,000)
Penalties for a Class 5 Felony
The penalties for a class 5 felony in Arizona are dependent on the nature of the crime and the criminal history of the defendant. If the crime is not charged as “dangerous,” a defendant may be eligible for probation if he or she has no prior felonies. Possible prison time ranges from 6 months to 2.5 years.
If the defendant has one prior felony, prison time can range from 1 and 3.75 years for a non-dangerous crime. For defendants with two or more prior felonies, a non-dangerous felony could result in a prison sentence of between 3 and 7.5 years.
For a first-time dangerous offense in Arizona, prison time is mandatory and typically comes with a sentence of between 2 and 4 years.
Class 5 Felonies: Non-Dangerous Offenses
Class 5 felonies deemed “non-dangerous” typically come with less severe penalties. Examples of class 5 non-dangerous offenses include failure to appear in court or obstructing a criminal investigation.
With a non-dangerous offense, a person could face 6 months to 2.6 years with no prior felony convictions, between 1 and 3.9 years with one prior felony conviction, and between 3 and 7.6 years with two or more prior felony convictions. The prison term can increase if a defendant is a repeat offender.
Class 5 Felonies: Dangerous Offenses
Class 5 “dangerous” felonies result in more serious repercussions if convicted. Examples of dangerous class 5 felonies include sexual abuse, aggravated domestic violence, and aggravated assault on a police officer.
Arizona law determines whether or not a crime is dangerous by looking at the nature of the crime. If a defendant used, threatened the use of, or discharged a deadly weapon or another dangerous instrument, or if a defendant knowingly caused serious physical harm, the crime is considered a dangerous offense.
There are no aggravated or mitigated sentence ranges for dangerous class 5 felonies. If a defendant has no prior dangerous felony convictions, he or she could face between 2 and 4 years in prison. For one prior dangerous felony offense, the term is between 4 and 6 years, and for two or more prior dangerous offenses, the sentence is 6 to 8 years.
Class 5 Felonies: Dangerous Crimes Against Children
In Arizona, a dangerous crime against a child refers to a criminal offense in which the victim is under the age of 15. Due to the young age of the victims, these crimes generally carry much harsher penalties. Penalties for dangerous crimes against children
are not influenced by class, but rather by the type of crime. For example, a first conviction for sex trafficking against a child carries a sentence of between 10.5 and 13.5 years.
Can a Class 5 Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor?
In Arizona, there are several ways in which a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor. First, a defendant could negotiate for a class 6 felony charge conviction to increase their odds of achieving a reduced charge. He or she could also meet all the requirements for their probation and complete the terms of sentencing.
Working with an experienced attorney can also increase a defendant’s chances of having a charge on their record reduced to a misdemeanor. However, it is not always possible to have a class 5 felony reduced to a misdemeanor as Arizona law takes these charges very seriously.
Statute of Limitations for Class 5 Felonies in Arizona
Every state has a statute of limitations that specifies how much time a person has to file a lawsuit against an individual or company. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for a class 5 felony is seven years.
However, this window of time is only active when the defendant is in the state of Arizona. If the defendant leaves the state, the clock on the statute of limitations essentially pauses and does not continue until the defendant returns to Arizona.
If charges are not filed within this specific timeframe, a criminal defense attorney can raise the statute of limitations as a defense to the allegations. The court can then choose to dismiss the charges if they find the defense successful.
Having an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side is important to increase your odds of a favorable outcome.
How JacksonWhite Can Help
Felonies are the most serious type of crime that a person can commit and typically come with harsher fines and other penalties, compared to lesser crimes like misdemeanors. If you have been charged with a class 5 felony, it is critical to speak with a reputable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Serving clients throughout Arizona, JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law offers premier legal solutions to individuals, families, and businesses. We are a full-service law firm made up of expert attorneys with extensive experience in many areas of criminal law.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.