Phoenix First-Time Felony and Repeat Felony Lawyer

Criminal felony offenders are classified into two different categories, first-time offenders and repeat offenders. Naturally, a repeat offender will face a more severe punishment than a first-time offender even if they commit the same crime. Arizona’s criminal code lays out certain guidelines for sentencing felony offenders. There are specific guidelines for first-time offenders and repeat offenders.

 

Let’s take a look at the sentencing guidelines for first-time felony offenders:

Felony       Mitigated     Minimum     Presumptive      Maximum      Aggravated

Class 2       3 years       4 years         5 years           10 years          12.5 years

Class 3       2 years       2.5 years      3.5 years        7 years           8.75 years

Class 4       1 year         1.5 years      2.5 years        3 years           3.75 years

Class 5      .5 years        .75 years     1.5 years        2 years           2.5 years

Class 6      .33 years       .5 years      1 year           1.5 years          2 years

 

As you can see above, the sentencing guidelines are divided up based on the type of felony committed. In addition to that, there are a number of different sentencing options for each felony offense. If you look at the second column heading, you’ll notice the mitigated sentence that someone can receive if they meet certain requirements. Next to that is the minimum sentence, which is the lowest sentence an offender can receive if they don’t qualify for a mitigated sentence.

Next to the minimum sentence, you’ll see the presumptive sentence. This is the sentence an offender is mostly likely going to face. Moving along, we can see the maximum sentence column. This is the highest sentence a first-time offender can face, unless during the commission of the crime he or she committed an act that would increase their offense to an aggravated crime. Arizona law also lists requirements an offender must meet in order to receive an aggravated sentence, which is the last column on the right.

 

Now we’ll look at the circumstances in which an offender can receive a mitigated sentence. The court will consider the following when deciding whether to impose a mitigated sentence:

  1. The defendant’s age
  2. The defendant’s capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of their crime
  3. If the defendant was under substantial duress
  4. The defendant’s participation in the crime was minor
  5. Any other factor that is relevant to the defendant’s character or background

 

If the judge feels that you meet one or more of the items in this list, they may choose to give you a mitigated sentence. The same applies when it comes time for the judge to decide whether to impose an aggravated sentence. In order to receive an aggravated sentence, the offender must do one of the following:

  1. Threaten or cause serious physical injury, except if this circumstance is an essential part of the offense
  2. Threaten, use, or possess a deadly weapon, except if this circumstance is an essential part of the offense
  3. If the offense involves the taking of or damage of property
  4. If an accomplice was present
  5. Especially heinous, cruel, or depraved manner in which the offense is committed
  6. The defendant committed the crime for payment of something of value
  7. The defendant offered to or paid someone to commit the offense
  8. If the defendant was a public servant at the time of the offense and the crime was directly related to the defendant’s employment
  9. If the victim died as a result of the conduct of the defendant
  10. If the death of an unborn child occurred
  11. If the defendant has a prior felony conviction within the last 10 years
  12. The defendant was wearing body armor
  13. The victim was at least 65-years-old or is a disabled person
  14. The defendant committed the crime out of malice towards the victim
  15. Ambushing the victim during the commission of the felony
  16. The offense was committed in the presence of a child
  17. The offense was committed in retaliation
  18. The defendant was impersonating a police officer
  19. The defendant used a remote stun gun during the offense

 

As you can see, there are a number of different ways a person can receive an aggravated sentence. Before a defendant receives a mitigated or aggravated sentence, the court is required to consider the evidence and opinions of the victim and the victim’s family.

 

Finally, we’ll look at the sentencing guidelines for a repeat felony offender.  A person who has just been convicted of their second felony offense will face one of the following sentences depending on the crime that is committed:

Felony       Mitigated     Minimum     Presumptive      Maximum      Aggravated

Class 2       3 years        4 years          5 years           10 years          12.5 years

Class 3       2 years        2.5 years       3.5 years         7 years          8.75 years

Class 4       1 year          1.5 years       2.5 years         3 years          3.75 years

Class 5      .5 years         .75 years       1.5 years        2 years           2.5 years

Class 6      .33 years        .5 years          1 year           1.5 years         2 years

 

If an offender is convicted of his or her third felony offense, he or she will face one of the following sentences:

Felony       Mitigated     Minimum     Presumptive      Maximum      Aggravated

Class 2      4.5 years       6 years          9.25 years        18.5 years        23 years

Class 3      3.3 years      4.5 years          6.5 years         13 years        16.25 years

Class 4     2.25 years       3 years           4.5 years          6 years           7.5 years

Class 5         1 year        1.5 years         2.25 years         3 years          3.75 years

Class 6     .75 years         1 year           1.75 years         2.25 years       2.75 years

 

Lastly, if an offender is convicted of four or more felony offenses, he or she will face the following sentence:

Felony     Mitigated     Minimum     Presumptive      Maximum      Aggravated

Class 2   10.5 years     14 years        15.75 years        28 years          35 years

Class 3    7.5 years      10 years        11.25 years        20 years          25 years

Class 4     6 years          8 years         10 years            12 years         15 years

Class 5     3 years          4 years          5 years              6 years          7.5 years

Class 6   2.25 years      3 years          3.75 years         4.5 years        5.75 years

 

As you can see, the differences in sentencing are significant between a first-time felony offender and a repeat offender. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work to get you a reduced sentence. If you’re facing a felony charge in Arizona, contact our skilled criminal law team at (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free consultation.

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