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Misdemeanor class affects possible penalties in Arizona

Misdemeanor offenses in Arizona are considered less serious than felony offenses. One of the factors that people might find interesting about misdemeanors is that not all misdemeanors are subject to the same penalties. Of course, with all misdemeanors, there is a chance of a jail sentence, as well as fines. The class of the misdemeanor is what is used to determine the maximum possible jail sentence that a person is facing.

Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanors. People who are convicted of a misdemeanor in this class are facing a possibility of six months in jail.

Class 2 misdemeanors are mid-level charges. When you are convicted of Class 2 misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to serve up to four months in jail.

Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious type of misdemeanor. A conviction for one of these misdemeanors means you might have to spend up to 30 days in jail, depending on the sentence handed down.

There are some instances in which more time in jail might be possible. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor and then convicted of another misdemeanor within two years of the previous misdemeanor, an enhancement is possible. In this case, you would face the penalties of the misdemeanor class that is one level higher than what the charge would be for a person who hasn't had a prior misdemeanor conviction.

No matter what type of misdemeanor you are facing, you should explore your options for dealing with the charge. In some cases, you might be able to avoid having to spend time in jail.

Source: Arizona Legislature, "13-707. Misdemeanors; sentencing," accessed June 24, 2016

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