Getting a misdemeanor may seem insignificant compared to a felony charge, but it can lead to serious problems if you don’t address it properly. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include DUI, shoplifting, possession of marijuana, and simple assault. Misdemeanors in Arizona can come with probation, expensive fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. Additionally, a misdemeanor crime can escalate to a felony if it’s a repeat offense.
Considering the potential consequences for this type of crime, working with a skilled misdemeanor offense attorney is best if you’ve received a misdemeanor charge. They’ll answer your questions and make efforts to help you reduce your penalties.
Misdemeanor Laws in Mesa
No matter what led to your misdemeanor charge, it’s normal to feel concerned about your future. Theft, misdemeanor drug possession, sexual misconduct, misdemeanor assault, forgery, and identity theft are among the most common misdemeanors in Arizona. Also included are domestic violence, possession of drug paraphernalia, underage alcohol consumption, and property crimes.
Felonies vs. Misdemeanors
Arizona law classifies criminal offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies. There are several categories within each, and the designation you receive will depend on several factors. Your criminal history, the seriousness of the crime, and the standard sentencing applied to the offense will all play a role in the consequences. Felonies can range from class 1 to class 6, with class 1 being the most severe. Misdemeanors have three classifications, with class 1 being the most severe and class 3 the least serious.
Felony crimes are the most serious offenses and can include hefty fines, a mark on your record, and jail time. Crimes like drug smuggling, aggravated assault, rape, murder, and arson all qualify as felonies and may come with a minimum of four months in jail. Misdemeanors, however, are treated less severely by the justice system and come with a 6-month maximum jail term.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Crimes in Mesa
While you won’t have to go to prison for a misdemeanor crime, some offenders are sent to jail for up to 6 months. Additionally, you may have to fulfill probation terms for 3 years. Certain misdemeanors in Arizona carry mandatory time in jail, such as DUI offenses. The maximum sentence is determined by the classification of the offense.
Class 1 Misdemeanors
Disorderly conduct, prescription drug possession, minor in possession, and threatening are all class 1 misdemeanor crimes. This classification also includes assault with injury, criminal damage, shoplifting, resisting arrest, and driving with a suspended license, among other crimes. Class 1 misdemeanors come with up to 6 months in jail, up to 3 years of probation, and a $2,500 fine plus a surcharge.
Class 2 Misdemeanors
Class 2 misdemeanor offenses include verbal assault, reckless driving, minor in consumption, criminal damage ($250 or less), and leaving the scene of an accident. This type of offense may come with 2 years of probation, a $750 charge (plus a surcharge), and up to 4 months of jail time.
Class 3 Misdemeanors
Third degree criminal trespass, assaultive touching, leaving the scene of an accident involving a parked car, and excessive speeding are all class 3 misdemeanor offenses. These crimes may come with up to a month in jail, a year of probation, and a $500 fine plus a surcharge.
In addition to fines, probation, and jail time, a misdemeanor offense may come with a range of restorative and punitive penalties. Home detention, work release, treatment or counseling, Defensive Driving School, having your license suspended, community service, and restitution are all common consequences for misdemeanors.
Getting a misdemeanor, even for a small offense, can cause serious consequences if you don’t deal with it correctly. The law is complex and changes all the time. Hire a legal professional with experience, so you can improve your chances of a favorable outcome for your case.
JacksonWhite Law in Mesa, Arizona
JacksonWhite Law has been serving clients in the Mesa area since 1983. We offer a full range of legal assistance and have plenty of experience navigating cases just like yours with great success. As one of the biggest firms in the East Valley, we work to provide advanced, insightful legal solutions to families, businesses, and individuals throughout the state of Arizona.
From fines, to probation and jail time, being in legal trouble is no laughing matter. It could harm your opportunities in life and even make it harder to find a place to live. Speak with one of our skilled lawyers today to get answers to your questions and to protect your future.
JacksonWhite Mesa Office
Our Mesa office is on the northwest corner of W. Pepper and N. Center Street. You may park on Pepper or in the parking garage nearby.
The Mesa city court is located on the northwest corner of Pomeroy Street and 1st Avenue. You’ll find a public parking garage behind the building, which you can access from Pomeroy or Main Street.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.