1540 E. Maryland Ave., Suite 100B
Phoenix, AZ 85014

The Molina Law Group PLLC

Call For Your 30 Min Case Evaluation

(602) 718-1249

The Molina Law Group PLLC

Felony Charges Lawyer In Phoenix Who Knows The System

Criminal charges and DUIs in Arizona can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Knowing which type of charge you’re facing and the implications if you’re found guilty is crucial in a Phoenix criminal defense situation. If you’ve been charged with a crime, then you need to have a felony charges lawyer in your corner who knows the system.

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Molina Law Group know how the criminal justice system in Phoenix Arizona works. They are here to explain the charges that you’re facing, help you understand the potential penalties, and develop a strong defense strategy. Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony, they’ll fight aggressively for your rights.

Now, you may be wondering: “Is how a crime is classified something I need to be overly concerned with? A crime is a crime, right?”

The truth is, knowing if you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony is extremely important to a Phoenix Arizona felony charges lawyer who wants to prepare the strongest defense possible that leads to the best outcomes for you.

Differences Between A Felony And Misdemeanor: Severity Of Crime

Basically, felonies are more severe crimes than misdemeanors. The more severe the crime, the more likely it is that it will be classified as a felony. Some crimes are strictly classified as either a felony or misdemeanor, while other crimes have the potential to be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances surrounding the charge.

Common misdemeanor charges in Phoenix, Arizona include:

  • Non-aggravated DUI
  • Simple assault
  • Theft
  • Forgery
  • Shoplifting
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Vandalism
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Common Felony Charges in Phoenix, Arizona include:

  • Aggravated DUI
  • Murder
  • Drug possession
  • Drug sales
  • Drug trafficking
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual assault

Differences Between A Felony And Misdemeanor: Penalties

Any Phoenix Arizona felony charges lawyer will tell you that misdemeanors and felonies carry vastly different penalties and potential for prison time.

Misdemeanors typically have less severe penalties attached to them when compared the penalties attached to felonies. However, misdemeanor charges are still serious. If found guilty of a misdemeanor, then you could face:

  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • Hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fines and fines
  • Community service
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Mandatory alcohol or drug abuse counseling

Felonies, on the other hand, have much harsher penalties attached to them. If found guilty of a felony, then you could face:

  • 1 year or more in prison
  • Thousands of dollars in fees and fines
  • Restitution payments
  • Random drug tests
  • Mandatory alcohol or drug abuse counseling

In addition to the penalties above, if found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, you’ll also have these charges added to your existing criminal record or you’ll have a criminal record established. A criminal record follows you for life and could prevent you from pursuing certain job or educational opportunities in the future.

You may also be required to serve probation if found guilty of a misdemeanors or felony. Probation can either be instead of, or in addition to any jail time you may be facing.

During probation, you will likely be expected to:

  • Check in regularly with a probation officer
  • Submit to random drug testing
  • Pay supervision fees
  • Maintain a stable residency
  • Abide by curfew requirements
  • Attend drug or alcohol treatment
  • Maintain steady employment

Having A Felony Dropped To A Misdemeanor In Phoenix, Arizona

Knowing that a misdemeanor carries less severe penalties than a felony, a competent felony charges lawyer in Phoenix will attempt to have your felony dropped to a misdemeanor—especially if there is strong evidence that you did commit the crime in question.

There are a few ways that a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor:

  1. Plea Bargain

Plea bargains are extremely common in the American judicial system. In a plea bargain, your defense attorney will work with the prosecuting attorney to hash out a deal that reduces the severity of your charges.

Simply put, if you were charged with a felony, then you would agree to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. So if your original crime was a felony that came with a penalty of jail time and large fines, pleading guilty to a misdemeanor would mean little to no jail time and lower fees. One of the most common examples you see in the courts is defendants who were charged with premeditated murder pleading guilty to manslaughter instead.

Prosecutors like plea bargains because it gives them a “win” and helps move cases through the courts more quickly. An experienced defense attorney will know how to use this to their advantage in getting you the least severe penalty possible.

Keep in mind that not all felonies are eligible for plea bargains. For example, certain types of sexual assault, particularly violent crimes, and acts of terrorism won’t be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors in federal or state courts.

  1. Error In Charges

A Phoenix Arizona felony charges lawyer will review all the details of the charges against you, the evidence that the prosecution has, and the arrest report.

Among other things, your attorney is looking for any mistakes made by the arresting officer or subsequent investigators which may have caused the crime to be labeled a felony when it was actually a misdemeanor.

For example, someone may have been charged with aggravated assault. Upon further investigation, by the defense attorney, however, it’s revealed that the wounds inflicted do not rise to the level of aggravated assault. This means that the charges go from felony to misdemeanor, and the punishment is less severe.

  1. First-Time Offense

A skilled defense may also be able to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor right off the bat, especially if this is your first offense and you have been accused of a low-level felony.

Although no one wants a mark on their criminal record, if you can choose between the two, always go for a misdemeanor. It will cost you less time and money in the long run, and most will have less impact on employment and educational opportunities.

Why You Need A Phoenix Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor of felony in Arizona, it can be confusing and overwhelming experience. It’s a mistake to think that you do not need legal representation, no matter how small the charge.

Having a Phoenix Arizona felony charges lawyer by your side to help you navigate the system is almost immeasurable. The criminal defense attorneys at Molina Law Group are experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive. Count on them to give you the legal answers you need and to provide guidance if you’ve been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Contact the Molina Law Group today.

The Molina Law Group PLLC

Call For Your 30 Min Case Evaluation
(602) 718-1249