In the United States, each state has its own classifications and penalties for different types of crimes. Based on the severity of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history, the offense may be categorized as either a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony sentence is much harsher than a misdemeanor sentence, as felonies are considered higher-level crimes. As a result, a conviction for a felony crime can bring serious, long-term consequences that can impact the trajectory of your life forever. That is why it is so important that you equip the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and fight for your freedom.
At Belén Law Firm, our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys have years of experience fighting for defendants accused of Class 6 felony offenses in Arizona. This means we possess the knowledge, skill, and legal resources it takes to achieve the most favorable outcome in your situation. In this post, we’ll cover some of the more common types of Class 6 felonies as well as the penalties one may face if convicted.
What Crimes are Class 6 Felonies in AZ?
In Arizona, there are 6 different classes of felonies – Class 1 being the most severe and Class 6 being the least. However, just because Class 6 felonies are the least severe felonies you can be charged with, they are still felonies, and ALL felony offenses should be taken extremely seriously.
There are over 200 specific crimes that may be classified as a Class 6 felony. Below are just a few of the more common offenses:
- Attempt of a Class 5 felony
- Solicitation of a Class 4 felony
- Facilitation of Class 2 or 3 felony
- Violating a restraining order (regarding commercial property nuisance)
- Certain aggravated assault violations
- Indecent exposure (to a person below the age of 15)
- Sexual conduct with a minor
- Certain first-degree criminal trespassing violations
- Aggravated criminal damage
- Aggravated domestic violence
- Possession of burglary tools
- Certain shoplifting violations (property valued between $1,000-$2,000)
- Certain check fraud violations
- Certain computer tampering violations
- Third-degree money laundering
- Resisting arrest
- Certain animal cruelty violations
- Aggravated harassment
- Certain weapon misconduct violations
- Certain drug crimes and marijuana violations
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Child or vulnerable adult abuse
- Wildlife violations
- Certain professional license violations
To see the comprehensive list of Arizona Class 6 felonies, click here.
What are the Penalties for a Class 6 Felony in Arizona?
The penalties for a Class 6 felony conviction in Arizona vary depending on a number of different factors. For example, whether or not the crime was considered a dangerous offense, whether the defendant had a prior conviction, and whether or not there were aggravating or mitigating factors present all play a part in determining the penalties.
Class 6 Felony Sentencing Guidelines
The state of Arizona follows mandatory sentencing guidelines that help prescribe the penalties for different felony offenses. You can find the sentencing range for felony crimes here: Arizona’s felony sentencing chart.
Below, we’ll provide the Class 6 felony sentence range for those facing non-dangerous crimes, dangerous crimes with a historical prior felony conviction, and dangerous repetitive offenses. We’ll also include the minimum, maximum, and presumptive sentence, as well as the mitigated and aggravated sentence where it applies.
Aside from those convicted of certain drug crimes in Arizona, individuals who are convicted of a non-dangerous felony with NO prior felony convictions may be eligible for felony probation. They are also eligible for a reduced prison sentence if at least two mitigating factors are present. Similarly, however, they may also receive an aggravated sentence if two aggravating factors are present, meaning their sentence may be increased beyond the maximum term.
|# of Historical Priors||Mitigated||Minimum||Presumptive||Maximum||Aggravated|
|0||4 months||6 months||1 year||1.5 years||2 years|
|1||4 months||6 months||1 year||1.5 years||2 years|
|2||9 months||1 year||1.75 years||2.25 years||2.75 years|
|3||2.25 years||3 years||3.75 years||4.5 years||5.75 years|
Dangerous Offenses with Prior Felony Convictions
A dangerous crime is one that involves the use (or threatened use) of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument as well as the element of intentionally and knowingly inflicting serious injury. Arizona does not allow for mitigating or aggravating factors for dangerous offenses. As such, here is the minimum, presumptive, and maximum term for Class 6 felonies with 0, 1, and 2+ prior felonies:
|# of Historical Priors||Minimum||Presumptive||Maximum|
|0||1.5 years||2.25 years||3 years|
|1||3 years||3.75 years||4.5 years|
|2||4.5 years||5.25 years||6 years|
Repeat Dangerous Offenses
As you might imagine, repeat offenders of dangerous crimes face much stiffer penalties than non-dangerous offenders (and even dangerous offenders with no prior dangerous crime convictions). The sentencing range is also a bit different for repetitive dangerous offenses, as it only provides a minimum, maximum, and increased maximum sentence.
|Repeat Offense #||Minimum||Maximum||Increased Maximum|
|2||2.25 years||3 years||3.75 years|
|3+||3.75 years||4.5 years||5.6 years|
Can a Class 6 Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor?
Under Arizona law (ARS 13-604, to be exact), a Class 6 felony in Arizona CAN be reduced to a misdemeanor in certain situations. This is actually the only class of felony that may be reduced to a misdemeanor. According to the statute, a Class 6 felony may be reduced if:
- It is not considered a dangerous offense;
- The judge finds punishing the crime as a felony would be unduly harsh;
- The defendant has no more than one prior felony conviction (two or more felonies disqualify the defendant from a reduction).
Other Degrees of Felonies in AZ
Class 1 Felony in Arizona
Class 1 felonies are the most serious degree of felony. In Arizona, there are only two criminal offenses that warrant a Class 1 felony: first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Those convicted of first-degree murder in Arizona may face natural life imprisonment, life imprisonment (25 years), or even the death penalty. Meanwhile, second-degree murder charges in Arizona may warrant anywhere between 10 to 25 years in prison.
Class 2 Felony in Arizona
Examples of Class 2 felonies in Arizona include manslaughter, child molestation, sexual assault, terrorism, first-degree burglary, sex trafficking, and armed robbery. Typically, the standard sentence for non-violent, first-offense Class 2 felonies is 5 years of imprisonment. However, an aggravated term can lead to up to 12.5 years of prison time, while a mitigated term may only result in 3 years (still for first offenses). If the individual commits a dangerous offense, their initial conviction may result in a maximum penalty of 21 years, while those with three or more dangerous offenses in their criminal record may face up to 35 years behind bars.
Class 3 Felony in Arizona
There are over 40 different offenses that are punishable as a Class 3 felony in Arizona. Aggravated robbery, second-degree burglary, certain stalking violations, aggravated assault, certain weapon misconduct violations, child bigamy, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, and aggravated identity theft are all examples of Class 3 felonies. Like most other classes of felonies, the prison sentence for these offenses varies substantially based on a number of factors. For example, the mitigated sentence for a non-dangerous, first-offense felony may only be 2 years, but the increased max for repetitive dangerous offenses can increase the sentence to up to 25 years.
Class 4 Felony in Arizona
Incest, vehicular homicide, crimes against the dead, certain controlled substance violations, perjury, forgery of credit cards, negligent homicide, and third-degree burglary are just a few examples of Class 4 felonies in Arizona. In the case of a Class 4 felony conviction, an individual found guilty of a non-dangerous offense is typically subject to a presumptive prison term of 2.5 years. However, for a repeat offense that is deemed dangerous, the maximum potential sentence can extend up to 15 years.
Class 5 Felony in Arizona
Some of the more common Class 5 felonies include aggravated domestic violence, arson of property valued between $100 to $1,000, dog fighting, certain stalking violations, theft crimes valued between $2,000 and $3,000, prostitution (3+ prior convictions), and fleeing or attempting to elude police officers. If an individual is convicted of a Class 5 felony in Arizona, they may receive a mitigated sentence of up to six months, an aggravated sentence of up to 2.5 years, or a presumptive sentence of 1.5 years for a non-dangerous first offense. However, in the case of a dangerous repeat offense, the maximum sentence can be extended to 7.5 years.
Call a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney From Belén Law Firm Today
If you find yourself facing Class 6 felony charges, you not only face jail time and additional fines, but you also face a permanent criminal record and the personal implications that come with that. This can make it hard to obtain employment, housing, a romantic relationship, and much more. That is why it is so important that you seek qualified legal help as soon as possible.
With the help of an experienced attorney like Belén Olmedo Guerra, you set yourself up for the most favorable outcome possible, whatever that may look like given your unique circumstances. To speak with a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer from Belén Law Firm regarding your Class 6 felony charges today, give us a call at (602) 715-0908 or fill out our online contact form.