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What are the sentencing guidelines in Arizona for felonies?

Felony convictions in Arizona are subject to certain sentencing guidelines. Some of these are fairly easy to understand, but others are a bit more complex. If you are facing criminal charges and need to find out about what sentence you are facing, consulting the sentencing chart or finding out the answers to your questions from someone who understands the charts can help.

What is Arizona's three strikes law?

Sentencing guidelines in Arizona provide a three-strikes law for adults who are convicted of serious felonies and have already been convicted of two or more prior serious or aggravated felonies. Drug felonies, murder and certain crimes against children aren't subject to the the three-strikes law. A person who is sentenced under the three-strikes law faces life in prison. No pardons, paroles or other releases are possible until the person serves at least 35 years in prison.

What are the probation guidelines?

It is possible for a person to be sentenced to probation for some felony charges. The maximum probation term is determined by specific guidelines. A class 5 or 6 felony carries up to three years on probation. A class 4 felony is associated with up to four years. A class 3 felony can mean up to five years on probation. A class 2 felony can lead to up to seven years on probation. It is possible to get good time credit for the time you are on probation and following the rules.

It is critical that you know exactly what you are facing before you make any decisions about how you will defend yourself. Be sure that all of your questions are answered so that you have the information you need to make decisions.

Source: Arizona Supreme Court, "Criminal Code Sentencing Provisions 2016-2017," accessed Dec. 29, 2016

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