Felonies in Arizona are serious criminal offenses that often have life-altering repercussions upon conviction in court. Even first-time offenders may face years of imprisonment. Certain types of felony offenses have enhanced sentencing ranges and other mandatory sanctions that can make a conviction even more devastating to your way of life.
Fighting a felony-level allegation is not something you should attempt to do without representation from a seasoned attorney. Work with a Tempe felony lawyer with experience fighting and winning on behalf of people in your situation. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we are dedicated to enforcing your rights and preserving your future.
Arizona Revised Statutes §13-601 establishes six “classes” that individual felony offenses may fall into, with Class 6 felonies being the least severe and Class 1 felonies being the most severe. It is worth noting that the only Class 1 felonies defined under state law are first-degree murder and second-degree murder. In most situations, the highest classification for a felony charge is Class 2.
Sometimes, the classification of a felony charge will vary based on the specific details of an alleged offense rather than the broad nature of the offense itself. For example, felony theft charges are prosecuted as increasingly severe offenses based on the value of goods or services the defendant allegedly took. As such, two people charged under the same state statute for the same base offense could face different sentencing ranges upon conviction. A seasoned Tempe attorney could provide more specific information about what to expect from a particular felony charge or allegation.
Most felony offenses have sentencing ranges established under A.R.S. §13-702, which sets out a minimum, presumptive, and maximum prison term for each class of felony determined to be a “non-dangerous” offense. If certain mitigating or aggravating factors are present, the minimum and maximum terms available may be lowered or increased.
If someone has a history of one or more non-dangerous felony convictions, they may be subject to increased sentencing ranges established under A.R.S. §13-703. Likewise, A.R.S. §13-704 establishes another unique set of sentencing ranges for “dangerous” felony offenses, covering both first-time and repeat offenders.
Someone convicted of a dangerous felony crime against children is subject to unique sentencing ranges set out under A.R.S. §13-705, which notably may include life imprisonment for certain offenders. Finally, A.R.S. §13-706 gives courts the authority to impose a life sentence—with a mandatory minimum 25-year term to be served—for any serious felony offense after having previously been convicted of two or more serious felony offenses. No matter what sentencing guidelines apply to a particular felony case, support from a skilled lawyer in the area will be crucial to achieving the best possible resolution.
Every felony charge pursued by Arizona law enforcement can be a life-changing matter, regardless of whether you already have a criminal record. If you try to handle charges on your own, your odds of securing a good case result and avoiding substantial penalties are slim.
A Tempe felony lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group could provide the tenacious and tireless legal support you need to protect your rights and way of life. Call today to learn more and schedule a consultation.