In Arizona, a misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than a citation but less serious than a felony. Misdemeanor offenses can range from assault to property damage, although the penalties involved will ultimately depend on the unique circumstances surrounding the case. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you could face time in jail, possible probation, and a hefty fine.
While a misdemeanor may be considered a “lesser” charge, it is still very serious and should be handled with help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. If you have been arrested for a crime that could result in a misdemeanor or a more serious charge, contact the experienced Peoria misdemeanor defense attorneys at JacksonWhite Law to find out what legal options are available to you.
Peoria Misdemeanors Defense Practice Areas
Misdemeanor and felony charges are among the most common offenses in Arizona. If you are convicted of a crime and charged with a misdemeanor, know that state law requires this conviction to remain on your criminal record until the age of 99. This conviction can affect nearly every part of your life, whether you are trying to get a job or even rent an apartment.
Before handing out a punishment, the judge will consider all factors of your case. However, the most common crimes that result in a misdemeanor charge include the following:
- Simple assault
- Public intoxication
- Petty theft
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of cannabis
- Discharging a firearm in city limits
Penalties for Misdemeanor Convictions in Peoria
In Arizona, misdemeanor offenses are characterized by class. There are three classes of misdemeanors with Class 3 being the least serious. Here is a breakdown of these Classes and what type of punishment you can expect with each type of misdemeanor.
A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor and carries a possible punishment of up to 6 months in jail. If convicted, you may also be required to pay a fine of up to $2,500. If you have had a prior misdemeanor, you may be sentenced to the next level of misdemeanor or felony automatically, resulting in more serious penalties. The court may also require that you complete your sentence in full before being released from jail.
A Class 2 misdemeanor in Arizona is punishable by up to 4 months in jail and a fine of up to $750. You may have the opportunity to reduce your charges if you agree to participate in a diversion program if one is available in your area.
A Class 3 misdemeanor carries a possible penalty of up to 30 days in jail. You may also be required to pay a fine of up to $500. Both adults and minors can receive a Class 3 misdemeanor charge. For example, a minor under age 21 may be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor if found in the possession of alcohol or if caught asking another person to buy or sell them alcohol.
Defenses for Misdemeanor Crimes in Peoria
If you have been arrested for a crime, you want the best defense possible to increase the odds of having your charges reduced or possibly thrown out. When you contact a criminal defense attorney about your case, every detail will be examined to determine the best defense.
Depending on how long it has been since the crime was committed, a statute of limitations may apply. In Arizona, most misdemeanors have a statute of limitations of one year. Your criminal defense attorney may also argue that the crime did not occur, that the defendant was justified in his or her actions, or that the defendant did not fully understand the significance of the criminal actions.
JacksonWhite Law in Peoria, Arizona
While misdemeanors are less serious than felonies in the state of Arizona, they can carry some fairly serious penalties. If you are charged with a misdemeanor for a crime that you did or did not commit, you will most likely have to undergo a trial by a jury. You may also have the option to plea bargain to reduce or drop some of the charges. As the choices you make can have a significant impact on the final result of your conviction, you will want to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before making any decisions.
Do not face a misdemeanor charge alone. The sooner that you contact a criminal defense attorney, the sooner you can start building your case. Contact our misdemeanor defense attorneys at our Peoria location today to learn more about our services or to discuss your case.
Call the Peoria JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.