Felonies are crimes that carry a sentence of incarceration in the state prison system. A person convicted of a misdemeanor might serve time in a local or county jail, but a felony offender must serve their time in prison. Felonies also differ from lesser crimes in other ways. A felony conviction has far-reaching consequences and could permanently impact some of your rights as a citizen.
Reach out to an experienced attorney immediately if you face felony charges. A New River felony lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group will investigate the circumstances leading to your arrest and determine an effective defense for your situation. We believe you have a way of life worth protecting.
Felonies are divided into six categories, Class 1 through 6. Arizona’s complicated sentencing scheme also classifies felonies as dangerous or non-dangerous. According to Arizona Revised Statute §13-105, a dangerous felony involves a weapon or intentional infliction of serious physical injury. Many sex crimes and crimes against children are also considered dangerous felonies.
When a first offender faces sentencing for a non-dangerous felony, the judge can impose a prison sentence within a range. The presumptive sentence is in the middle of the range.
The judge can also consider mitigating and aggravating factors that could justify sentencing the individual to less or more than the minimum or maximum sentence. Our New River felony attorneys can present mitigating evidence that merits a lenient sentence.
Sentences become significantly longer with prior convictions. However, the judge could still consider mitigating and aggravating factors that might reduce or lengthen a sentence.
Dangerous felonies are not eligible for probation and carry mandatory prison terms. Each class of dangerous felony can lead to years in prison. Sentence lengths increase sharply if the offender has prior convictions.
For example, a first offender convicted of a Class 6 dangerous felony faces 18 months to three years in prison. If they have one prior conviction, the range is three to 4.5 years. With two or more prior convictions, the offender could serve 4.5 to six years. When the stakes are this high, those accused of felony crimes need representation from a skilled New River lawyer.
Police must adhere to strict procedures when stopping a suspect, conducting investigations, executing searches, collecting evidence, and interacting with an arrested person. If the officers deviated from proper procedures, our experienced felony attorneys could ask the judge to suppress any evidence obtained through misconduct.
Every crime has a legal definition containing several elements. Prosecutors must have sufficient evidence of each element to obtain a conviction. Pointing out the weaknesses in the evidence could lead to a prosecutor dropping a charge or reducing it to a misdemeanor. It could also lead to acquittal at trial.
Although many felony convictions require an offender to serve some prison time upon conviction, non-dangerous felonies often allow probation and suspended sentences for first offenders. Maricopa County offers diversion programs to some people facing felony charges. In some felony cases, our local attorneys could negotiate to achieve an outcome that requires little or no prison time.
A criminal record is always a burden. Opportunities for employment, education, housing, credit, and professional licensing are more limited for people with a criminal history.
The impact of a felony conviction is significant. For instance, convicted felons cannot own weapons. Although they may petition to restore some gun rights, felons cannot receive concealed carry permits. According to Arizona Revised Statute §13-904, felons cannot vote or run for public office unless they petition to restore those rights. Felons are disqualified from many jobs by law or company hiring policies.
Some felony sex crimes require the offender to register with their local Sheriff after release. Depending on the offense, the offender might have to maintain their registration on the sex offender registry for the rest of their life. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our New River lawyers defend against felony convictions to prevent these severe consequences.
A felony conviction is a life-altering event. You need to begin building a strong defense to the allegations as soon as possible with help from a New River felony lawyer.
Give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome for your case. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our dedicated defense attorneys are former prosecutors who know how to fight for your rights and preserve your future. Give us a call today.