Misdemeanor Guide

Arizona Misdemeanor

Pleading Guilty
Arizona law places crimes into two categories: felonies -- manslaughter, murder, rape, arson, and others -- and misdemeanors -- driving under the influence, trespassing, minor in possession, and others. Whether or not a person pleads guilty in court can define the court's decision.

Pleading guilty or no contest in court will allow the judge to take the plea into consideration if the individual is facing a fine. If he or she is facing a jail sentence, the judge will most likely not accept the plea of guilty and submit "not guilty." Fine payments can be made directly following the court hearing or a payment plan may be set up. Afterward a criminal conviction will stay on the individual's record for the rest of his or her life.

Misdemeanor Sentencing
Misdemeanor crimes can call for a term of imprisonment in a county jail facility. At times an imprisonment may be served at another place under the custody of the state department of corrections. In Arizona Class 1 Misdemeanors can have a maximum punishment of up to six months in jail. A Class 2 Misdemeanor can have a maximum punishment up to four months in prison. And a Class 3 Misdemeanor, which is the least severe, can have a maximum jail time of up to thirty days.

The court has the right, under particular circumstances, to state that an individual shall not qualify for early release for any reason and must serve the entire sentence in jail.

Misdemeanor Fines
Instead of a jail sentence, an individual guilty of a misdemeanor may be charged with a fine. A Class 1 Misdemeanor fine can be as much as two thousand five hundred dollars, but not more. A Class 2 Misdemeanor can have a fine up to seven hundred fifty dollars. And a Class 3 Misdemeanor can have a fine up to but no more than five hundred dollars. Petty offenses are the least severe and can have fines up to three hundred dollars.

A judge can state that a person shall pay a fine for his or her misdemeanor as well as serve a jail sentence. This is not rare and can pertain to multiple misdemeanors at the time along with past misdemeanors.

Arizona Misdemeanor Expungement
Expungement laws are created to help deserving individuals be more productive in their lives. When a judgment has been set aside, a person can answer that he or she never committed that particular crime and can state it legally. Some cases are not allowed to be expunged, but in the case of felonies, civil rights may be restored as well as the privilege of owning a firearm.

Those that have been wrongfully arrested can have their records sealed by the court, even if he or she was never convicted of a crime. Records in these kinds of cases can also be cleared. This will make it so that the arrest never happened.

Some individuals under Arizona law are eligible to have their juvenile records eliminated. This depends on a referral of no further action, placement in community programs, or an adjudication of delinquency.

See also:
Arizona Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Arizona Felony External link (opens in new window)
Arizona Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)