Felony vs. Misdemeanor Crimes
Jonathan L. Warshaw
A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE
Felony crimes are considered the most serious by the criminal justice system. One of the most significant differences is the amount of incarceration you face if convicted. A felony conviction can carry sentences that include substantial prison time. When a person is given a substantial prison sentence, their term is most often spent in a state prison. These complexes are located throughout Arizona and house inmates serving the longest sentences for the most serious crimes. Inmates are often sentenced to state prisons that are a significant distance from their hometown. A felony sentence can also include large fines, and a long period of probation, which is why having a Gilbert criminal defense attorney is so critical.
To compare, the offenses that are seen as less serious are categorized as misdemeanor offenses. Misdemeanor convictions can sometimes only consist of fines and/or probation, rather than imprisonment. These fines and probation periods are not as lengthy when compared to felony convictions. A conviction for a misdemeanor can still carry jail time, though it is less significant than a felony sentence. Often times when a person is sentenced to serve a shorter term of imprisonment, they are able to serve this in their county jail. This can have significant benefits for family members and friends, as visitation access is much more readily available. Also, those convicted of misdemeanors can be eligible for certain programs in their local jail, such as work release.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A FELONY IN ARIZONA?
There are a variety of crimes classified as felonies in Arizona. Some crimes are misdemeanors when a person is charged with a first offense, but repeat offenses by the same perpetrator will be considered felonies. There are also crimes that are classified as felonies on the first offense.
- Aggravated Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Certain Drug Offenses
- Certain Weapons Violations
- Felony DUI
Most other less serious crimes are classified as misdemeanor offenses, including assault and first offense DUI without aggravating factors.
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