Arizona Felony Classifications
Arizona classifies its crimes into categories called felonies and misdemeanors. These classifications make the biggest difference in what punishment or punishments will be received. The worse the felony, the worse the punishment.
Class 1 Felonies are at the top of the chart and are the most severe in Arizona. This kind of felony can hold as much as life in prison or as little as twenty-five years in a state penitentiary. The death penalty is also a possibility for those who have committed crimes classified under Class 1 Felonies. This is usually for first degree murder cases.
Class 2 Felonies are the next category of felonies and can have as few as three and a half years in prison or as much as five years. These sentences are normally served in a state prison. A Class 3 Felony can have as much as three and a half years in a prison while a Class 4 Felony can have up to two and a half years of incarceration. A Class 5 Felony is punishable by up to one and a half years, and a Class 6 Felony -- the last of Arizona's felony classifications -- can have up to one year in a state facility.
Each of these sentences are for first-time offenders. The amount of time to be served for a second offender can often be double or tripled. Some sentences can also increase in classes. For instance a third-time offender of a Class 5 Felony could possibly be sentences for a Class 4 Felony instead.
These sentences are at the discretion of the sentencing judge and are subject to alteration. All felony terms are to be served in a state prison over being served in a county jail facility.
All felony imprisonments are determined by the crime committed. The class of the felony determines the minimum and maximum number of years a person will possibly serve in a state prison. All exceptions to this law are found in section 13-604 of the Arizona code.
After an individual is incarcerated, he or she may not be transferred without the proper paperwork from a sentencing judge.
Arizona Felony Expungement
Arizona expungement is designed to help individuals be more productive in their lives after an arrest. Expungement does have its limitations however. A majority of the time most felonies cannot be expunged due to severity, but in certain circumstances expungement is possible. Civil rights can be restored to those who have served felony sentences. Firearm privileges may also be restored to felons in a federal or state court for an additional seventy-five dollar charge.
Probation can also be terminated early in particular circumstances. Factors will be taken into consideration by the court, such as the offense's seriousness, the criminal history, and the potential benefit to society.
Those that are wrongfully arrested, charged, indicted, or are not convicted have the opportunity to seal their records. Sealing records removes them from public viewing and only places them in the hands of the proper authorities. Most juvenile records, no matter the crime, can also be sealed.