Criminal Law

questions & answers

Question: In Arizona what is the typical difference in sentencing between a Class 6 Felony and a Class 1 Misdemeanor?

Answer: According to ARS 13-604. Class 6 felony; designation

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, if a person is convicted of any class 6 felony not involving a dangerous offense and if the court, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant, is of the opinion that it would be unduly harsh to sentence the defendant for a felony, the court may enter judgment of conviction for a class 1 misdemeanor and make disposition accordingly or may place the defendant on probation in accordance with chapter 9 of this title and refrain from designating the offense as a felony or misdemeanor until the probation is terminated. The offense shall be treated as a felony for all purposes until such time as the court may actually enter an order designating the offense a misdemeanor. This subsection does not apply to any person who stands convicted of a class 6 felony and who has previously been convicted of two or more felonies.

B. If a crime or public offense is punishable in the discretion of the court by a sentence as a class 6 felony or a class 1 misdemeanor, the offense shall be deemed a misdemeanor if the prosecuting attorney files any of the following:

1. An information in superior court designating the offense as a misdemeanor.

2. A complaint in justice court or municipal court designating the offense as a misdemeanor within the jurisdiction of the respective court.

3. A complaint, with the consent of the defendant, before or during the preliminary hearing amending the complaint to charge a misdemeanor.

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