Arizona, as most American jurisdictions do, divides crimes in to 2 main categories- Felonies and Misdemeanors (there are also Petty Offenses which are only punished by a fine of up to $300, with no possibility of jail). Offenses are then further divided within those categories. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, Stephanie Ehrbright routinely provides representation to clients who are facing charges of every level of both Misdemeanors and Felonies. This blog will discuss Misdemeanor Criminal Offenses in Arizona. Future blogs will cover the much more extensive topic of Felony Criminal Offenses in Arizona.
In Arizona there are 3 different classes of Misdemeanors. A Class 3 Misdemeanor is the lowest and is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine ($2,000 if an enterprise). A Class 2 Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 4 months in jail and a $750 fine ($10,000 if an enterprise). A Class 1 Misdemeanor is the most serious and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $2,500 fine ($20,000 if an enterprise).
Misdemeanor crimes are usually charged by either a Municipal (i.e. “City”) Court or a County Justice Court. There are many different combinations of punishments within the above constraints that a Judge might impose when a Defendant is convicted of a Misdemeanor in Arizona. For instance, Stephanie is often successful at getting clients Probation for Misdemeanors with little or no jail, or at times even what is called Diversion in which a charge would not stay on the Client’s permanent record.
There are several different ways to get charged with a misdemeanor in Arizona. There is the old fashioned way of getting actually arrested, cuffed, and booked by police. However you can also receive a Summons in the mail or simply be issued a Ticket or Citation by Law Enforcement. If you have been given a ticket, look on the right side and there will be boxes next to each Offense. If a box is checked that says “Criminal” or “Criminal Traffic”- then you have been charged with a Misdemeanor and it would be advised to contact Stephanie at Palmisano Law Firm for a free consultation to review your rights under Arizona Law.
Jail time for Misdemeanor Offenses is usually served in County or City Jails. In Maricopa County, it is common for people to serve a Misdemeanor Jail Sentence at Sheriff Joe’s Tent City. Future blogs will give helpful hints when you or a loved one is unfortunate enough to have to spend some time in Maricopa County’s Tent City.
When self-surrendering in Maricopa County, it is usually done at a County facility called Lower Buckeye Jail. At Lower Buckeye Jail, commonly called ‘LBJ’, there is a parking lot that is specified just for defendants self surrendering. It is possible with Misdemeanor Jail Sentences to qualify for Work Release where you would be released from jail for up to 12 hours a day, 5 days a week to attend work, school, doctors, etc. A qualified attorney like Ms. Ehrbright can help facilitate Work Release for you if you are charged with a Misdemeanor Offense in Arizona.
Additionally, many jurisdictions are now using House Arrest, or Home Detention, as a Jail alternative to save both them and you money. Call Stephanie Ehrbright’s Office at Palmisano Law Firm today at 480-557-7800 to see if an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney can qualify you for House Arrest and help you through the difficult process if you have been charged with a Crime in Arizona.