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What should I know about misdemeanor charges in Arizona?

Many people tend to think of misdemeanors as crimes that don't really amount to much. In some cases, people might look over these types of criminal charges. The truth of the matter is that even a misdemeanor charge can result in imprisonment. Couple that with the impacts a criminal record might have on job opportunities and other aspects of life and you can see why it is imperative that anyone facing a misdemeanor carefully consider his or her defense options.

What are the possible penalties of misdemeanor convictions?

The possible term of imprisonment for a misdemeanor depends on the class of the misdemeanor. A class 3 misdemeanor is the least serious class, which carries a possible imprisonment term of 30 days. Class 2 misdemeanors carry up to four months in jail. Class 1 misdemeanors carry up to six months in jail.

Can misdemeanor charges be enhanced?

Misdemeanor charges, except traffic offenses, can be enhanced in Arizona. If a person is at least 18 years old or has previously been tried and convicted of a misdemeanor, a misdemeanor enhancement is possible if the person is charged with the same crime as the previous conviction within two years from the date of the previous conviction. In that case, the new charge would be enhanced to one level higher class than the previous conviction. Time spent in jail doesn't count toward that 2-year period.

As you can tell, it is possible to receive serious penalties if you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime. Learning about defense options for these cases is vital for anyone facing misdemeanor charges in Arizona.

Source: Arizona State Legislature, "13-707. Misdemeanors; sentencing," accessed Aug. 03, 2015

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