If you have been accused of a felony, it is important to get a good criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix to represent you. A felony conviction will almost always result in jail time and high fines. However, your sentence will not end when you leave jail. The impacts of a felony may have lifelong. There are many ways in which a felony charge will follow you around for the rest of your life.
How Long Will I Go to Jail For a Felony in Arizona?
Felonies in Arizona are divided into classes. A class 1 felony is considered the most serious. It includes first and second-degree murders. If you are convicted of second-degree murder, you might go to prison for up to 25 years. If you are convicted of first-degree murder, you will go to jail for life or even receive the death penalty.
Class 2 felonies in Arizona include the manufacturing of methamphetamine, armed robbery, and certain sex crimes. You can go to prison for up to 10 years.
Class 3 felonies include assault, burglary, and stealing an automobile. You can be incarcerated for as long as 7 years with a class 3 conviction.
If you are convicted of credit card fraud, or if you steal cash or property that is worth between $3000 and $4000, it will be considered a class 4 felony. You may face fines and up to 3 years in prison.
Domestic violence, stalking, and property damage are all class 5 felonies. You can go to jail for as long as a year and a half if you are convicted.
Class 6 felonies include tampering with a witness in a criminal or civil case and the possession of drug paraphernalia. You can go to jail for up to 18 months for this type of felony. Punishment will increase with the number of offenses.
Ongoing Impacts of a Felony
Once you get out of prison, you will have a felony on your record for at least 7 years. Arizona is a conservative state that is tough on crime. If you are convicted of a felony, you will give up certain freedoms that most people take for granted.
A felon may be considered an unfit parent if their conviction is related to drugs, domestic violence, or sexual offenses. You are unlikely to have any custody privileges if you have had a felony in the last 5 years.
You lose your right to vote when you are convicted of a felony, and you will never be able to serve on a jury. You will also give up your second amendment right to bear arms if you are a felon. You will not be able to get a student loan for one year after a felony conviction if it is the first offense. If you have three offenses, you will never be able to get a loan.
There are some circumstances under which these rights can be restored. It will depend on your case and the deal your lawyer can work out for you.
You may lose food stamps and housing benefits if you have a felony conviction on your record, and there are many jobs you will not be able to get.
What to Look For in a Lawyer
If you have been accused of a felony, your future depends on the lawyer you choose. You should find an attorney with many years of experience in criminal defense. Choosing the right attorney can mitigate the way a felony accusation or conviction can impact your life. Look for one with a clean record with the state bar and positive references.
With the right legal representation, your life can return to normal after this difficult time.