Having a felony on your record can negatively impact your life in significant ways. Arizona may classify crimes as Class 6 undesignated felonies, meaning you can potentially have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor after your probation. Keep in mind that your charge will be treated as a felony crime unless and until it’s reduced.
You may also be able to negotiate a reduction to your charge straight away if you have a low-level felony, by working with an attorney. With some felony crimes, a judge may leave it undesignated or reduce it to a misdemeanor at the end of your trial. If you’re interested in doing this, it’s advisable to consult a criminal defense attorney right away.
What to Keep in Mind About Reducing a Felony to a Misdemeanor
- Having a felony crime on your record can severely diminish your opportunities in life
- You may be able to have an undesignated felony reduced to a misdemeanor
- It’s important to check into the reasons why your felony remains undesignated (such as failing to pay your fees)
- The law can be complex, so it’s important that you consult a skilled criminal defense attorney to help with your case
Even if your probation goes smoothly, don’t assume that getting your felony reduced to misdemeanor will happen automatically just because it has concluded. Infringements often remain undesignated due to unfulfilled probation conditions such as restitution payments or fines that have gone unfulfilled during probation – once completed it’s important to determine whether the crime remains an undesignated felony or has been converted to misdemeanor status.
If your offense remains undeclared, it’s wise to investigate why. Check whether all terms have been fulfilled as well as fees, restitution and fines paid in full. Also important: meet any conditions laid down so that a motion to reduce felony to misdemeanor can be filed successfully.
Having Your Felony Set aside
Under Arizona law, most felony offenses may be set aside instead of receiving conviction. You must meet certain guidelines in order to meet eligibility requirements and not all felonies are eligible; victim age plays a role when considering this possibility. Below are some offenses which cannot be set aside:
- Crimes involving minors younger than 15
- Crimes involving severe physical injury to the victim
- Offenses involving display of a deadly weapon or using a dangerous instrument
- Offenses such as driving with a suspended or cancelled driver’s license
- Certain sexual crimes that require you to go on the sex offender registry
- If you’ve been convicted of at least two felonies or sentenced to incarceration, you must wait two years before requesting that the court set aside your felony.
Penalties for Felony Convictions
Felony crimes come with severe consequences, including a permanent criminal record. In addition to fines and prison time, a felony may lead to an increased sentence if you commit another offense later on. You may have trouble getting a professional license, running for office, owning a gun, or finding a job. It’s crucial that you speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you’ve been accused of committing a felony.
Possible Defenses for Felony Crimes
In order to receive a felony conviction, the prosecution must prove that you’re guilty. A skilled attorney may be able to help you construct a defense by showing that you weren’t present at the scene of the crime using irrefutable evidence or an alibi or prove that the actions that led to your charge were unintentional.
In other cases, you may have been accused of assault when you were simply asserting defending yourself from danger. In this case, your defense would focus on showing that you were using your right to protect yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions on Criminal Offenses
Here are some of the most common questions related to criminal offenses:
Q: How does a statute of limitations work?
A statute of limitations sets a deadline on when you can initiate legal proceedings after being charged with either criminal or civil offenses. While time limits vary by jurisdiction and type of offense committed (for instance medical malpractice allows two years to sue before losing that chance to do so),
Q: What are some examples of common felony crimes?
Class 6 felonies include offenses like aggravated DUI, resisting arrest, drug paraphernalia possession, marijuana possession and theft. Class 5 offenses could involve criminal damage or credit card theft while forgery burglary and DUI were categorized as class 4 felonies. While class 3 offenses included assault theft or motor vehicle theft; while manslaughter, armed robbery or child prostitution would fall under class 2 felonies. While murder would fall into class 1 felonies.
Q: How much prison time do you get for a felony crime?
Class 6 felonies could carry two years in prison, while class 5 felonies could land you there for 2.5. Class 4 crimes may result in up to 3.75 years behind bars while a class 3 crime could bring 8.75 years. Finally, class 2 felonies carry 12.5-year penalties while life sentences apply if applicable.
What to Do if You’re Facing Charges
If you are currently facing criminal charges or seeking assistance to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor in Arizona, it is highly advisable that you seek the advice of a skilled criminal defense attorney. By providing them with all of the details of your case, they can assess it and give expert advice regarding what course of action would best serve your interests. Engaging legal professional services as soon as possible to achieve optimal results is imperative to ensuring a positive result from any situation that arises.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 418-4281 to discuss your case today.