Chandler Misdemeanor Lawyer
Criminal offenses are filed either as felonies or misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies and do not incur penalties as strict as those for felony convictions. Typical misdemeanors include assault, domestic violence, shoplifting, DUI and many others. Even though penalties are less harsh, they can still be serious, such as jail time, probation, and losing your driving privileges. If you are a repeat offender, what was originally a misdemeanor could now be charged as a felony, which can mean prison time, expensive fines, parole, and the loss of some basic rights. While it may seem as though it’s a minor matter if you are charged with a misdemeanor, each case is different. Many misdemeanor charges allow for a maximum of 12 months in jail as part of the penalty. You should consult with a misdemeanor attorney in Chandler who can fight for you. It’s possible your charges can even be dropped, or you can get probation instead of jail time.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
Here is a more comprehensive listing of various crimes usually considered misdemeanors in Arizona:
- Shoplifting, not returning rental items or other property, writing bad checks, forgery, credit card fraud, and other theft crimes
- Personal offenses, such as assault or indecent exposure
- Weapons charges, such as the unlawful discharge of a firearm
- Illegal possession of prescription drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and some other drug crimes
- DUI (first time)
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
This is not a complete list. Keep in mind that some of these can also, under certain circumstances, be charged as a felony, based upon the circumstances of your case. You should have a Chandler misdemeanor defense lawyer review your case in order to advise you of your best course of action to undertake to help you defend against the charge in court.
Classes of Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors can be categorized into different classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. There are also petty offenses, those offenses that are so minor that they do not even classify as a misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious, and a petty offense the least. Following are the fines and sentences guideline for misdemeanors in Arizona:
Class 1 – Fines up to $2,500 for individual persons and up to $20,000 for a business. Sentences can be a maximum of 6 months in jail
Class 2 – Fines up to $750.00 for individual persons and up to $10,000 for a business. Sentences can be a maximum of 4 month in jail
Class 3 – Fines up to $500.00 for individual persons and up to $2,000 for a business. Sentences can be a maximum of 30 days in jail
Petty Offense – Fines up to $300 for individual persons and up to $1,000 for a business. There are no jail sentences.
A second conviction for the same misdemeanor or petty offense usually means the crime will move up to the next highest classification. There are exceptions, however. If the crime is another DUI or domestic violence, for example, you can be charged with a felony.
At the Workman Law Group, our Chandler misdemeanor attorney is dedicated to defending each person represented with the goal to achieve the best possible outcome. The best scenario is to have no conviction at all, which is more likely if you are a first time offender. In some cases, law enforcement does not have enough evidence to convict you. Another possibility is entering into a plea agreement, with lesser charges and penalties. We have also had success with expungements, or having your conviction set aside, in certain cases. If so, the conviction will not show on your criminal record. Whatever the situation, we are here to preserve your rights and to fight back against any misdemeanor charges. Contact us.