Distinguishing Factors Between Arizona Felony

and Misdemeanor Charges

How Criminal Conduct In Arizona Can Increase Your Sentence From A Simple Fine To Jail Conviction

When you are charged with a crime, there’s more to consider than just what crime has been committed. In order for you to properly understand what kind of immediate and long-term consequences you are facing, you also need to know how the crime has been categorized: An infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony. 

An infraction is the most minor of offenses, and if you are convicted of an infraction, you are likely to only have to pay a fine. You won’t likely have to appear in court, and the violation won’t likely appear on your criminal record. Misdemeanors and felonies are those that will end up on your criminal record and will include more serious punishments. It is important that you talk through your charges with a Mesa criminal defense lawyer to understand what you’re up against and how to fight it. 

Young man meeting with his lawyer in pre-trial detention in Mesa AZ

Here are a few things you need to know about how misdemeanor and felony charges differ: 

Jail Time

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you are almost certainly going to be sentenced to jail time. Though in minor misdemeanors, your chances are good that your jail time will be waived. 

How much jail time you are sentenced depends on what class of misdemeanor or felony you are charged with, as well as the circumstances of your crime. A Class C misdemeanor is the most minor, and it carries a jail term of 30 days or less. A Class B misdemeanor comes with a 30- to 60-day sentence, and a Class A misdemeanor can get you six months to a year in jail. 

There are five classes of felonies. A Class E felony is the most minor, and it comes with a year to five years in jail. A Class D felony gets you between five and 10 years, a Class C felony gets you between 10 and 25 years, and a Class B felony gets you 25 or more years. A Class A felony is the most serious crime you can be convicted of, and it comes with a sentence of life in prison or the death penalty. 


Just like with jail time, you can expect to pay more in fines if you are charged with a felony. But whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you can expect to be charged some kind of fine. The more severe the charge – the higher the class of misdemeanor or felony – the higher the fine will be. 

You may find that even if you are able to avoid jail time upon conviction, you won’t be able to avoid paying a fine. Expect to also pay court costs. 

Other Penalties

You may face many other penalties, depending on the crime for which you are convicted. Just as with jail time and fines, you can expect the consequences to be much less severe if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, but there will still be consequences. 

Any criminal conviction on your record, misdemeanor or felony, can make it hard for you to get a job, to be approved as a volunteer, or even to rent an apartment. You can be denied a scholarship, professional licensure, and other benefits or accolades. If you are convicted of a felony, you will also lose your right to vote and to own a gun. 

The consequences of a criminal conviction can follow you for years. Talk to a  criminal defense lawyer in Mesa as soon as you are charged to explore your options for fighting the charges against you. The best way to avoid consequences is to avoid conviction. However, if you are convicted, or it seems that a conviction is inevitable, your Mesa defense lawyer can also fight to have your charges or the penalties reduced. Evading conviction or getting a reduced charge will help you to start your life over more quickly.

Call the Tobin Law Office if you have been charged with a crime. Our Mesa criminal defense law firm is committed to helping you fight the charges against you, whether that includes DUI, theft, drug-related crimes, violent crimes, domestic violence, property offenses, or other crimes. We are an affordable Mesa criminal defense firm, and we are ready to help you. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a Mesa defense lawyer from our team and learn more about your legal options.

Timothy Tobin, Your Mesa DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer
Written By:

Timothy Tobin – Tobin Law Office

Mesa Office
1910 S Stapley Dr #221
Mesa, AZ 85204

Phone: 480-447-4837

Chandler Office

3100 W Ray Rd #201
Chandler, AZ 85226

Phone: 480-447-9877
Email: tim@tobinlawoffice.com
Website: https://tobinlawoffice.com/