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Understanding sentencing in criminal cases

At the Baker Law Firm, we understand that defendants facing felony convictions in Arizona whether for assault charges, battery charges, terrorist acts or something else can be reasonably concerned and confused about potential penalties and sentences if convictions are received.

The Supreme Court of Arizona’s Criminal Code Sentencing Provisions outlines clearly the penalties associated with a criminal conviction for non-dangerous and dangerous crimes. The basic jail time requirements for non-dangerous crimes, such as robbery include:

  • For Class 2 offenses, a minimum of four years and a maximum of 10 years
  • For Class 3 offenses, a minimum of two and a half years and a maximum of seven years
  • For Class 4 offenses, a minimum of one and a half years and a maximum of two years

Maximum jail time for aggravated offenses increases to up to 12.5 years for Class 2 offenses, up to 8.75 years for Class 3 offenses and up to 3.75 years for Class 4 offenses.

For dangerous crimes, the number of prior offenses directly impacts the length of time that a person may spend in jail as follows:

  • For Class 2 offenses with no prior convictions, the minimum and maximum jail sentences are seven and 21 years. That increases to 14 and 28 years for people with one prior offense and 21 and 35 years for people with two prior offenses on their records.
  • For Class 3 offenses with no prior convictions, the minimum and maximum jail sentences are five and 15 years. That increases to 10 and 20 years for people with one prior offense and 15 and 25 years for people with two prior offenses on their records.
  • For Class 4 offenses with no prior convictions, the minimum and maximum jail sentences are four and eight years. That increases to eight and 12 years for people with one prior offense and 12 and 16 years for people with two prior offenses on their records.

These guidelines may be bypassed at the discretion of a judge but that should not be expected as it is not commonplace.

Our firm focuses on criminal defense and intimately understands the nature of these cases including potential penalties and sentencing. To learn more about sentencing in criminal cases, you can visit our criminal defense website. 

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