Typical misdemeanor charges in the State of Arizona include underage drinking, simple assault, domestic violence assault, shoplifting of low value merchandise, and DUI, to name a few. While misdemeanor charges are not as serious as felony charges and do not result in prison sentences or revocation of your civil rights, they can still result in significant consequences and should not be taken lightly. In particular, any crimes of “moral turpitude” can track you going forward and inhibit your ability to obtain credit, loans, or fingerprint clearance. Crimes of moral turpitude include theft or fraud.
Based on the facts of your case and your prior history, Arizona law allows and sometimes mandates serious penalties for misdemeanor charges including jail, fines, probation, and loss of driving privileges.
Arizona categorizes misdemeanors into the following three classes based on their seriousness:
Class 3 misdemeanor: up to $500.00 fine and 30 days in jail
Class 2 misdemeanor: up to $750.00 fine and four months in jail
Class 1 misdemeanor: up to $2,500.00 fine and six months in jail
Before entering into any deals or entering your plea of “guilty,” “not guilty” or “no contest”, it is critical that you understand the potential outcomes. To ensure that your best interests are protected, it is important that you consult an experienced attorney who will explain the options and potential consequences of your charges and work with you to develop an effective defense strategy. Pleading guilty to a seemingly minor charge to make it go away quickly can result in a criminal conviction that can stay with you forever.