What is a class 6 undesignated felony offense? A class 6 undesignated felony offense, is also frequently referred to as a 6-open felony. In Arizona, at the time of sentencing for a class 6 felony offense a judge may leave the offense undesignated. This means that the offense has not yet been designated a felony conviction. In other words the felony designation is suspended or remains undetermined and may eventually be designated a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony. This is usually done to create an incentive to successfully complete a probationary term.
In lay terms it works like this: The State or court agrees to leave the offense undesignated. If you do everything you are supposed to do and successfully complete probation, the offense may be designated a misdemeanor thereby avoiding the serious consequences having of a felony conviction on your record. (see Consequences of a Felony Conviction in this blog) This creates a strong incentive to successfully complete probation and ‘earn’ a misdemeanor. The interests of the State are served because if the individual does not take advantage of this opportunity to prove themselves on probation, does not successfully complete probation, does poorly on probation, or commits another offense, the court may then designate the offense a felony.
A class 6 felony is the least serious category of felony in Arizona. Many times more serious or higher category felony offenses are reduced to class 6 felonies in order to ‘open them’ or leave them undesignated at the time of sentencing. For instance you may be charged with a class 4 felony offense, but offered a plea agreement to a class 6 undesignated felony.
In Arizona, the ability of the court to leave an offense undesignated is a valuable tool available to the court to create great incentive for probationers to do well on probation. It is also a last chance and valuable opportunity for those facing felony convictions to have the ability to prove to the court that they deserve to carry on with their lives without the burden being a felon.