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Misdemeanors are a less severe category of criminal charges than felonies. Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor will serve no more than six months in a local or county jail. However, a conviction can still have far-reaching consequences on your life. Presenting a strong defense to a misdemeanor is essential to preserve your reputation and ensure that a criminal record does not limit your future opportunities.
If you are arrested for a non-felony offense, contact a New River misdemeanor lawyer immediately. The seasoned attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can investigate the circumstances of your arrest and fight to protect your rights.
The state divides misdemeanors into three categories of severity, from Class 3 up to Class 1. All misdemeanor crimes carry potential jail sentences, and some—such as DUI, a Class 1 misdemeanor—require mandatory jail time. Judges often require a misdemeanor offender to complete a probation period, ranging from a maximum of one year for Class 3 offenses to three years for Class 1.
According to Arizona Revised Statute §13-707, jail sentences could be as long as 30 days for a Class 3 misdemeanor, four months for a Class 2 misdemeanor, and six months for a Class 1 misdemeanor. The law also imposes hefty financial penalties, ranging from $500 for a Class 3 misdemeanor to $2500 for a Class 1 misdemeanor.
A conviction on a misdemeanor charge also could result in other consequences. Courts may order an offender to make restitution if someone suffered a financial loss due to the crime. Judges could require an offender to perform community service. Depending on the crime, an offender might face mandatory counseling, defensive driving school, drug or alcohol treatment, or other remedial programs tailored to their offense. A New River attorney could explain the potential consequences of a specific misdemeanor charge and work to build a tailored defense.
People facing misdemeanor charges sometimes plead guilty to save themselves attorney’s fees. They take a chance that the judge will look favorably on them for admitting guilt and not sentence them to jail. However, this can be a huge mistake.
Our New River misdemeanor attorneys have deep familiarity with the local court system, prosecutors, and judges. We can secure a far more favorable result than a defendant could achieve without legal assistance.
Prosecutors must prove misdemeanors to get a conviction. Often, they have minimal evidence to establish one or more of the crime’s essential elements. Sometimes, they gather evidence through police overreach. In such cases, our misdemeanor lawyers often persuade prosecutors to drop charges or lower them to petty offenses or infractions.
Maricopa County sponsors multiple diversion programs for people facing misdemeanor charges. These programs offer various community-based treatments, education, life skills training, and counseling to help offenders manage underlying issues.
The requirements for participation differ between programs. The prosecutor’s office screens potential participants and recommends qualifying individuals. The prosecutor typically drops the charges when a participant completes all program requirements.
Our skilled misdemeanor attorneys in New River know the various programs and requirements. We can recommend an appropriate diversion program, help an accused complete the application, and make a case for participation to the prosecutor and judge.
Although a misdemeanor charge will not land you in state prison, it could still have devastating consequences. Trying to handle a misdemeanor case without legal advice is unwise.
Calling a New River misdemeanor lawyer should be a priority when you face criminal charges. The legal team at Grand Canyon Law Group is prepared to fight for you and your way of life. Contact us today to get started.