What is a misdemeanor? First of all it is important to understand that it is a crime subjecting you to criminal prosecution and a criminal record. Historically misdemeanors have been defined as a criminal offense which is punishable by a sentence of incarceration for not more than a year. In Arizona, you cannot receive more than six (6) months for a misdemeanor conviction.
Consequences of a Misdemeanor in Arizona
What are the consequences of a misdemeanor in Arizona? That may depend on the level of misdemeanor. In Arizona there are three types or categories of misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are divided into classes. A class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious, while a class 3 misdemeanor is the least serious. Each class of misdemeanor has a maximum penalty. In other words the court cannot impose a sentence greater than the following:
For a class 1 up to six (6) months in jail and a $2,500.00 fine
For a class 2 up to four (4) months in jail and a $750.00 fine
For a class 3 up to thirty (30) days in jail and a $500 fine
It is important to understand but arguably difficult to understand that although Arizona law sets a limit on the maximum fine that can be imposed, the legislature has been free to add mandatory surcharges, assessments, jail costs, and other fees which in some cases can double or triple the original fine amount.
In addition to jail and fines, under Arizona law a conviction for a misdemeanor may also involve, and in some cases require some additional penalties including:
Loss of the right to possess a firearm
Drug or alcohol testing and treatment
Mandatory suspension or revocation of your driver's license