Class 2 Felonies in Arizona
Criminal offenses in Arizona are classified as either petty offenses, misdemeanors, or felonies. As you probably know, felonies are considered the most serious of the three. When a person is charged with a felony in Arizona, the type of crime committed will determine which class is assigned and thus, the penalties one might face. There are six different classes of felonies in AZ.
Class 2 felonies are some of the more serious crimes a person can commit. Just under Class 1 felonies (first and second-degree murder), a Class 2 felony conviction warrants some of the harshest punishments under Arizona law. In this post, an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney from Belén Law Firm will cover the different types of Class 2 felonies and what to expect when you are facing charges for one.
What is a Class 2 Felony in Arizona?
There are a number of different offenses that are considered Class 2 felonies, from sexual assault to armed robbery to terrorism charges and beyond. We’ll provide the comprehensive list of offenses below:
- Attempt of a Class 1 felony
- Certain aggravated assault crimes
- Dangerous or deadly assault by a prisoner or juvenile
- Assault by a prisoner with intent to incite a riot or participate in a riot
- Drive-by shooting
- Discharging a firearm at a residential structure
- Certain kidnapping violations
- Sex trafficking
- Trafficking of persons for forced labor or service
- Sexual conduct with a minor
- Sexual assault
- Molestation of a child
- Continuous sexual abuse of a child
- Unlawful sexual conduct by a correctional employee with an offender under 15 years of age
- First-degree burglary
- Arson of an occupied structure
- Theft crimes valued at $25,000 or more
- Certain extortion violations
- Misappropriation of charter school monies ($25,000 or more)
- Armed robbery
- Trafficking in the identity of another person or entity
- Credit card transaction record theft ($25,000 or more)
- Financing extortionate extensions of credit
- First-degree trafficking in stolen property
- Participating in criminal syndicate
- Fraudulent schemes and artifices
- Illegal control of an enterprise
- Computer tampering
- First-degree money laundering
- Smuggling an unaccompanied minor for profit
- Residential mortgage fraud
- Participating in a criminal street gang
- Promoting dangerous prison contraband
- Promoting dangerous secure facility contraband
- Introduction of disease or parasite
- Child prostitution
- Possession or sale of certain chemicals, substances, or equipment
- Certain marijuana offenses
- Certain dangerous drug violations
- Certain narcotic drug violations
- Certain methamphetamine manufacturing violations
- Involving minors in drug offenses
- Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor
- Sexual exploitation of a minor
- Aggravated luring of a minor for sexual exploitation
- Child or vulnerable adult abuse
- Conducting a chop shop
- Certain violations for causing accidents involving death or serious injury
- Manufacture or sale of counterfeit drugs
- Knowingly or recklessly manifesting an extreme indifference to human life in performing certain acts relating to water quality control standards
- Certain violations of the Arizona pollutant discharge elimination system program
- Certain violations of the hazardous substances and air pollutants statutes
- Certain violations of the hazardous air pollutants statutes
Types of AZ Class 2 Felonies
When determining the sentencing ranges for Class 2 felony crimes, the judge must consider the severity of the crime. This can be determined by whether the offense was that of a non-dangerous offense, a dangerous offense, or a dangerous crime against children. As you can imagine, dangerous offenses and crimes against children have significantly harsher punishments than non-dangerous offenses.
Below, we’ll go into more detail regarding non-dangerous offenses, dangerous offenses, and crimes against children.
Both mitigating factors and aggravating circumstances are taken into consideration for individuals charged with a non-dangerous criminal offense for the first time. A defendant must establish at least two mitigating circumstances in order to get their sentence reduced below the mandatory minimum. The defendant’s age and the part he or she played in the crime may be considered mitigating circumstances. Similarly, two aggravating elements need to exist for the sentence to be increased beyond the maximum punishment.
According to ARS 13-105, a dangerous offense is one in which the defendant discharges or threatens the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. It also includes crimes where the defendant intentionally and knowingly inflicted serious physical injury on another person. In Arizona, dangerous offenses have different sentencing ranges depending on the number of prior felony convictions. This can be broken down into historical priors (any previous felony conviction committed within 10 years of the date of the current dangerous offense) and repetitive dangerous offenses.
What is Considered a Dangerous Instrument?
While a deadly weapon typically refers to a firearm, a dangerous instrument refers to anything that when used, attempted to use, or threatened to be used is “readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.” This could be anything from a knife to a tire iron to even a brick, as all could be used to cause serious bodily harm to another individual.
Dangerous Crimes Against Children
When a person faces a charge for a dangerous crime against a child, they are up against much harsher penalties than they would be for other types of felonies. As such, there is a separate sentencing guideline for these offenses alone. Like with dangerous offenses, the penalties for dangerous crimes against children also increase with the presence of any historical priors. When a person has two historical prior convictions, life in prison is the default penalty. Neither mitigating nor aggravating factors are permitted, and there is no set minimum or maximum sentence.
What are the Penalties for Class 2 Felonies in Arizona?
Penalties for Class 2 felonies are harsh, with potentially lengthy prison sentences and up to $150,000 in fines. As we mentioned before, the exact sentence varies depending on whether or not it was a dangerous offense and if the defendants in question are repeat offenders. Below, we’ll outline the sentence range for a presumptive, minimum, and maximum term as well as sentences with mitigating and aggravating factors.
- First offense (no historical priors): For a first, non-dangerous Class 2 felony conviction, the presumptive term is 5 years, the minimum sentence is 4 years, and the maximum sentence is 10 years. Mitigating factors may bring the sentence down to 3 years, while an aggravated sentence can increase to up to 12 and a half years in prison.
- With one historical prior: For Class 2 felony convictions with one historical prior on the defendant’s criminal record, the sentencing is the same as a first offense with no historical priors (as shown above).
- With two historical priors: With two historical priors, a person convicted may face a presumptive sentence of 9 years and 3 months, a maximum sentence of 18 years and 6 months, and a minimum of 6 years. With mitigating factors, defendants may only receive 4 years and 6 months of jail time, but with aggravating circumstances present, this may increase to up to 23 years behind bars.
- With three historical priors: Class 2 felonies in which the offender has 3 historical priors may bring a presumptive sentence of 15 years and 9 months, a max term of 28 years, and a minimum term of 14 years. However, the mitigated sentence is 10 years and 6 months, while the aggravated sentence is 35 years.
- First offense (no historical priors): A dangerous, first offense Class 2 felony warrants a minimum sentence of 7 years, a presumptive sentence of 10 and half years, and a maximum sentence of 21 years.
- With one historical prior: A conviction with one historical prior on the defendant’s criminal record may result in a minimum of 14 years in prison, a maximum of 28 years, and a presumptive sentence of 15 years and 9 months.
- With two or more historical priors: Two or more historical prior convictions increases the penalties to 21 years minimum, 28 years presumptive, and 35 years for a maximum sentence.
- Second dangerous offense: When the offender has a previous dangerous offense on their record, they may face a presumptive term of 21 years, a minimum term of 10 years and 6 months, and a maximum term of 26 years and 3 months.
- Third and subsequent dangerous offense: For third and subsequent dangerous offenses, you’re looking at a presumptive sentence of 28 years, a minimum sentence of 15 years and 9 months, and a maximum prison sentence of 35 years in total.
Other Degrees of Felonies in Arizona
As you can see, jail sentences for Class 2 felonies can be extreme, especially with prior felonies appearing in the defendant’s criminal history. Aside from Class 1 felonies, these are the harshest sentences a person can face in Arizona. Below, we’ll give a brief overview of the other types of felonies in Arizona and the jail sentence you can expect based on the given felony class.
Class 1 Felonies in Arizona
A Class 1 felony in Arizona is the most serious crime a person can commit. As such, it carries the longest prison sentence of any of the felony classes and the harshest consequences. Under Arizona law, there are only two crimes considered severe enough to be a Class 1 felony: first-degree murder and second-degree murder. First-degree murder in Arizona is punishable by life imprisonment, natural life imprisonment, or the death penalty. Meanwhile, second-degree murder in Arizona is punishable by a presumptive sentence of 16 years, a maximum sentence of 25 years, and a minimum sentence of 10 years.
Class 3 Felonies in Arizona
A few examples of Class 3 felonies in Arizona include second-degree burglary, motor vehicle theft, sexual abuse of a child under the age of 15, certain drug crimes, and assault with a deadly weapon. The presumptive term for Class 3 felonies is three and a half years, though for dangerous crimes with previous convictions, this may increase to up to 25 years in prison.
Class 4 Felonies in Arizona
Class 4 felonies in Arizona carry a presumptive term of two years and six months in state prison, while the aggravated term is three years and nine months. For dangerous crimes with two or more historical priors, the sentence may increase to up to 16 years. Examples include perjury, kidnapping, robbery, misconduct using a deadly weapon, and third-degree burglary.
Class 5 Felonies in Arizona
Class 5 felonies in Arizona include aggravated assault on a police officer, prostitution, credit card theft, and public sexual indecency before a minor. Defendants convicted of a Class 5 felony face a sentence range of up to six months for first offense, non-dangerous felonies and up to seven and half years for a dangerous repeat offender.
Class 6 Felonies in Arizona
The least serious felony for which one can be prosecuted in Arizona is a Class 6 felony offense. A few examples of these offenses include aggravated DUI, aggravated domestic violence, and shoplifting with a value between $1,000 to $2,000. In Arizona, a Class 6 felony sentence ranges between four months to up six years for a dangerous repetitive offender.
Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney for Class 2 Felony Charges in AZ
There is a lot on the line for those facing criminal charges for Class 2 felony crimes, including significant jail time, hefty fines, a permanent criminal record, and a whole list of personal repercussions. That is why you need an accomplished criminal defense attorney on your side if you have been accused of such an offense. At Belén Law Firm, we are a group of skilled trial lawyers that know what it takes to put together a strong defense and cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. We will carefully review each piece of evidence the prosecution wants to use, and we’ll take all necessary steps to undermine their case against you.
You deserve to have someone on your side that knows Arizona laws through and through and is fully prepared to put up an aggressive fight for you. Attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra wants to help you in that way. Call (602) 715-0908 or fill out our online intake form for a free consultation to discuss the criminal charges you are facing with a knowledgeable Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today.