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What are the sentences for a misdemeanor?

One of the most important factors for a person who is facing criminal charges is what type of sentence they are facing for the charges filed against them. For people who are facing misdemeanor charges, the sentences for a conviction aren't as long or as harsh as what a person would be facing for a felony.

How does the class of the misdemeanor affect the sentences?

The class of the misdemeanor plays a big part in the possible sentence. A class 3 misdemeanor can mean up to 30 days in jail. A class 2 misdemeanor can mean up to four months in jail. A class 1 misdemeanor can mean up to six months in jail. It is important to note that the sentence is served in a jail and not in a prison that is within the state department of corrections.

Are there any exceptions to the general sentencing limitations?

It is possible for a person to face an enhanced charge if he or she has prior convictions that meet specific guidelines. For example, the person would have to be at least 18 years old and have had a prior conviction within the two years prior to the date of the offense. Enhanced charges, which mean that you are charged with a more serious offense class, are also possible if the prior conviction occurred in another state or jurisdiction.

If you are facing a misdemeanor, don't allow yourself to think that these charges are without consequences. A conviction of a misdemeanor can appear on your criminal background check, which can have significant impacts on your life. For that reason, presenting a defense against a misdemeanor is crucial.

Source: Arizona Legislature, "13-707. Misdemeanors; sentencing," accessed March 04, 2016

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