Though not the least severe class of felony in Arizona, Class 5 felonies are much less severe in nature compared to Class 1, 2, and even Class 3 felonies in Arizona. However, this is certainly not to say you shouldn’t take these criminal charges seriously. A Class 5 felony conviction brings about serious penalties, both criminal and personal, so it’s important that those facing these types of charges seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
At Belén Law Firm, our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys have plenty of experience handling felony charges of all kinds. That means we know what it takes to provide a strong defense strategy and achieve the most favorable outcome possible for our clients. In this post, we’ll cover a few of the more common Class 5 felony charges in Arizona and the penalties that may come along with them.
What are Class 5 Felonies in Arizona?
Depending on its severity, a criminal offense may be considered either a felony, misdemeanor, or petty offense. Felonies are the most serious crimes, while petty offenses are the least. In Arizona, there are 6 different levels or “classes” of felonies, with Class 5 felonies falling at the lower tier in terms of severity.
There are well over a hundred different crimes that are classified as a Class 5 felony offense under Arizona law. Below are just a few examples, but you can find the exhaustive list here.
- Aggravated assault (certain violations)
- Failure to stop, leading to an accident involving death or bodily injury
- Fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement officers
- Administering alcohol or a dangerous drug/narcotic to a minor
- Theft between $2000 and $3000
- Attempt of a class 4 felony
- Solicitation of a class 3 felony
- Facilitation of a class 1 felony
- Public sexual indecency to a minor
- Sexual abuse (if the victim is 15 or older)
- Criminal damage (damage of $2,000 or more but less than $10,000)
- Arson of property (valued $100 or more but less than $1,000)
- Shoplifting (certain violations)
- Criminal possession of a forgery device with intent to use it
- Credit card theft
- Computer tampering (certain violations)
- Obstructing criminal investigations or prosecutions
- Influencing a witness
- Dog fighting
- Aggravated harassment (certain violations)
- Stalking (certain violations)
- Abandonment or concealment of a dead body
- Prostitution (with three or more prior convictions)
- Promotion of gambling
- Possession, use, production, sale or transportation of marijuana (certain violations)
- Aggravated domestic violence
- Child or vulnerable adult abuse
- Certain violations of the hazardous air pollutants statutes
- Certain hazardous waste violations
What are the Penalties for a Class 5 Felony in Arizona?
Like with most felony charges, the criminal penalties for Class 5 felonies depend on a number of things, including whether there are any aggravating or mitigating factors involved and whether or not the defendant has any prior felony convictions.
Class 5 Felony Sentencing Guidelines
Arizona’s mandatory felony sentencing chart outlines and enforces the criminal penalties associated with each category, or class, of felony offenses. Under Arizona law, these crimes are further classified as either a non-dangerous offense, a dangerous offense, or a dangerous offense with historical priors. There is also a separate sentencing range reserved for dangerous crimes that are committed against children.
These felony sentencing guidelines provide the penalties for a presumptive sentence, minimum sentence, and maximum sentence, as well as prison sentences with mitigating and aggravating circumstances. Below, we’ll cover the full sentence range for defendants convicted of Class 5 felonies in Arizona.
In Arizona, individuals charged with a non-dangerous crime for the first time have the opportunity to receive a prison sentence below the mandatory minimum if at least two mitigating factors are present. This may include the age of the defendant or the fact that they had minimal involvement in the alleged crime. On the other hand, the presence of two aggravating factors may heighten the punishment beyond the maximum term. This may be anything from having an accomplice present to the defendant impersonating a police officer.
Below, we’ll provide a chart that includes the minimum, maximum, and presumptive sentence for non-dangerous Class 5 felonies, as well as the mitigated and aggravated sentence.
|# of Historical Priors||Mitigated||Minimum||Presumptive||Maximum||Aggravated|
|0||0.5 years||0.75 years||1.5 years||2 years||2.5 years|
|1||0.5 years||0.75 years||1.5 years||2 years||2.5 years|
|2||1 year||1.5 years||2.25 years||3 years||3.75 years|
|3||3 years||4 years||5 years||6 years||7.5 years|
Dangerous Crimes With Historical Priors
A dangerous offense refers to a crime that involves the use or threat of use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument accompanied by the intentional and knowing infliction of severe bodily injury. Like other classifications of Class 5 felonies in Arizona, a different sentencing range is provided for those with one or more prior felonies appearing in their criminal background. Whether or not the crime was considered a dangerous felony will determine if it is classified as a historical prior or a dangerous repetitive offense.
As per Arizona’s felony sentencing chart, dangerous crimes with historical priors may warrant anywhere from 2 years to up to 8 years in prison. There is no mitigated or aggravated term provided for these crimes.
|# of Historical Priors||Minimum||Presumptive||Maximum|
|0||2 years||3 years||4 years|
|1||4 years||5 years||6 years|
|2||6 years||7 years||8 years|
Dangerous Crimes With Repetitive Dangerous Offenses
Whereas historical priors encompass any prior felony conviction committed within a span of 10 years from the current dangerous crime in question, dangerous crimes with repetitive dangerous offenses involve multiple instances of a dangerous offense committed on different occasions. As you can imagine, repeat offenders of dangerous crimes face much harsher penalties than those convicted of other non-dangerous felonies.
As such, defendants convicted of a Class 5 felony with two or more dangerous repeat offenses may face a prison sentence between 3 and 7.5 years. Once again, there is no mitigated or aggravated sentence provided for these crimes.
|Repeat Offense #||Minimum||Maximum||Increased Maximum|
|2||3 years||4 years||5 years|
|3+||5 years||6 years||7.5 years|
Other Degrees of Felonies in Arizona
As we mentioned before, Class 5 felony crimes are one degree above the least serious felonies a person can be charged with in Arizona. Below, we’ll cover the other degrees of felonies in Arizona, including examples of the types of crimes that may warrant each charge as well as their potential prison term.
Class 1 Felonies in Arizona
Class 1 felonies in Arizona are the most serious felony class a person can be charged with. However, this class is limited to only two offenses: first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Those convicted of a Class 1 felony face the harshest penalties available under the Arizona justice system, which can include life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or even capital punishment, otherwise known as the death penalty. More specifically, first-degree murder in Arizona may result in natural life imprisonment, life imprisonment (25 years), or the death penalty. Second-degree murder in Arizona may warrant a minimum sentence of 10 years, a presumptive sentence of 16 years, and a maximum of 25 years.
Class 2 Felonies in Arizona
Though not the most serious, Class 2 felonies in Arizona are certainly some of the more serious crimes a person can commit. Class 2 felonies include crimes such as sex trafficking, first-degree burglary, armed robbery, sexual assault, first-degree money laundering, drive-by shootings, arson of an occupied structure, and more. A non-dangerous Class 2 felony (with no historical priors) may carry anywhere from 3 to 12 years with mitigating or aggravating factors present. However, the presumptive term is typically 5 years in state prison. Of course, the presence of historical priors or dangerous repeat offenses will increase the sentence drastically.
Class 3 Felonies in Arizona
Examples of Class 3 felony crimes in Arizona include second-degree burglary, aggravated assault, certain stalking violations, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, aggravated criminal damage resulting in $10,000 or more of damage, certain computer tampering violations, and more. A person convicted of a first-offense, non-dangerous crime may face anywhere from 2 to 8.75 years in prison, while a repeat offender of a dangerous crime may face up to 25 years in prison.
Class 4 Felonies in Arizona
Class 4 felonies in Arizona fall just above Class 5 felonies in terms of severity. Examples of a Class 4 felony include third-degree burglary, identity theft, first-degree escape, perjury, negligent homicide, incest, conducting an illegal chop shop, and more. Class 4 felonies typically come with a sentence of 2.5 years in state prison. However, in aggravated cases, the term can be extended to 3.75 years, while mitigating factors may reduce the sentence to 1 year. If the crime is deemed dangerous and the offender has two or more prior felony convictions for dangerous offenses, the sentence will escalate significantly to a maximum of 16 years.
Class 6 Felonies in Arizona
Class 6 felonies in Arizona are the least serious felonies a person can commit. Defendants who face a Class 6 felony may have (allegedly) committed any of the following: resisting arrest, sexual conduct with a minor who is 15 years or older, certain theft crimes valuing between $2,000 and $3,000, aggravated domestic violence, and more. Those convicted may face anywhere between 4 months to up to 6 years with dangerous repetitive offenses.
Facing a Class 5 Felony in Arizona? Call an Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer From Belén Law Firm Today
Felony charges of any kind should be taken extremely seriously, as they have the potential to negatively impact the rest of your life. Aside from potential jail time, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record, you are also looking at a variety of personal repercussions that can follow you around forever. The best way to avoid these harsh consequences is to equip yourself with the help of an experienced attorney who knows what it takes to create a solid defense against the criminal offense you have been charged with.
At Belén Law Firm, our team of Phoenix criminal defense attorneys led by renowned attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra has years of experience defending those accused of crimes in Arizona. With a thorough understanding of Arizona law and a variety of legal resources on our side, we are capable of providing the most aggressive defense on your behalf.