Felony Defense Attorney In Tucson, Arizona
Felonies are not to be taken lightly. While a misdemeanor charge may not significantly disrupt your life, a felony has the potential to cause long-lasting damage that is difficult or impossible to recover from. Most misdemeanors max out at 6 months of jail time, where some felonies can even result in a life sentence. If you’re facing felony charges, you need to work with an experienced Tucson defense attorney who understands the gravity of your charges.
Our law firm has experience representing clients in a wide range of felony criminal defense matters, including:
- Violent crimes, such as assault, kidnaping, and domestic violence
- Theft offenses, including shoplifting, robbery, and embezzlement
- Major drug charges, such as drug trafficking, sale, possession for sale, and manufacturing
- Sex crimes, including sexual assault and sexual abuse
Don’t take your chances with a subpar attorney. You have way too much to lose, and we can help you hold on to as much as possible.
Can Felony Cases Be Dismissed?
Felony cases are rarely dismissed once filed, because dismissal criteria are difficult to establish. After the charges have been filed, either a preliminary hearing or a grand jury presentation typically occur. At a preliminary hearing the judge has the ultimate authority to dismiss the case, and he or she will only do so for one of two reasons: either there is insufficient evidence, or an outright lack of evidence. The grand jury almost always finds probable cause because they only hear the government’s side of the story—not yours.
The defense can counter the prosecution at a preliminary hearing. If the prosecution truly has “nothing on you”, or at least not enough as the situation stands, the case can be dismissed. While this isn’t common, it’s worth having your lawyer review your case to determine whether or not it’s a worthwhile venture to fight for dismissal. Either way, we will aggressively defend you from the very beginning.
Should I Fight My Felony Charges?
If your felony charges cannot be dismissed early on because the judge finds that the evidence is sufficient to proceed, or the grand jury hands down an indictment against you, you still have options. One is to plead not guilty; another is to plead guilty to lesser charges by arranging a deal; still another is to challenge the evidence and the case in the pretrial phase; finally, we can take the government to trial. Either way, we put up a powerful fight on your behalf.
When we review the details of your case and consider the charges that have been filed, we will be able to give you the best possible legal advice regarding what your next move should be. Nobody wants to plead guilty to anything, but in some cases, it may be more advantageous if that guilty plea can save you from something far worse.
This situation needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. No matter what the best strategy is, we’re going to fight to help you achieve the best possible outcome. The best path will help you preserve precious months or even years of your life, and we understand that no stone should be left unturned in the process. We are thorough – we can examine any and every possible option to prevent you from facing the harshest possible penalties under the law. The State of Arizona has some of the harshest criminal penalties in the country.
Penalties For A First Offense Felony in Arizona
Second offenses are always more difficult to handle than first offenses. Although we are ready, willing, and able to fight for anyone, the game changes with second offenses. If this is your first felony offense, here’s what you can expect:
Class 6 Felony with No Priors: This is the least severe felony, making it the simplest felony to deal with. A Class 6 felony with no priors can result in up to two years in prison. This can rise up to three years in prison for a dangerous nature Class 6 felony. One of the most common Class 6 felonies is possession of non-medical marijuana or drug paraphernalia. It also includes thefts over $1,000.
Class 5 Felony with No Priors: Non-dangerous Class 5 felonies without priors can result in up to two and one-half years in prison, or up to four years in prison for a dangerous nature Class 5 felony. Arizona Class 5 felonies include unlawful use of means of transportation (borrowing a car without permission), the attempted possession or sale of marijuana less than two pounds in weight, and thefts over $2,000.
Class 4 Felony with No Priors: A non-dangerous Class 4 felony is punishable by up to three and three-fourths years in prison, while a dangerous nature Class 4 felony is punishable by up to eight years in prison. Class 4 felonies are typically possession of a dangerous drug such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin, and felony DUIs. Also, property theft exceeding the amount of $3,000, and growing non-medical marijuana, and theft of a credit card, to name a few.
Class 3 Felony with No Priors: The situation significantly begins to gain severity with a Class 3 felony or higher. The penalty can be up to eight and three-fourths years in prison, or up to a staggering 15 years in prison for a dangerous nature Class 3 felony. Most Class 3 felonies center around theft, such as property theft exceeding $4,000, vehicle theft, aggravated assault, and second-degree burglary. But there are many others.
Class 2 Felony with No Priors: Class 2 non-dangerous felonies can result in up to 12.5 years in prison, or up to 21 years in prison for a dangerous nature Class 2 felony. The majority of class two felonies would be considered violent. This is the felony umbrella for crimes like burglary involving a firearm, selling dangerous drugs like meth, molestation of a child, property theft exceeding $25,000, armed robbery, fraudulent schemes and artifices, and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.
Class 2 felonies are nearly impossible to defend yourself against if you aren’t working with an experienced attorney. Get us involved as soon as humanly possible, and take extra care to avoid making statements that might cause you to incriminate yourself.
Class 1 Felony, Regardless of Priors: These felonies have serious consequences and should be discussed with an attorney. First and second degree murder are Class 1 felonies. This is where punishment becomes 25 years to life. It’s also worth noting that Arizona is a death penalty state for capital murder. Dozens of individuals have been executed by gas inhalation (for convictions prior to 1992) or lethal injection since 1976.
Having a competent attorney is absolutely vital for Class 1 felonies, where the harshest possible punishments can be imposed. We need to get to work immediately. The longer you wait, the harder it will become to defend you.
What About Second Offenses?
If you have prior felony convictions on your criminal record, the punishments for these classifications of felonies become more severe. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been convicted of a single non-dangerous Class 6 felony and are currently facing another non-dangerous Class 6 felony – the repercussions grow more and more severe.
If you’re being charged with multiple felonies at once and have no prior convictions, you may or may not be treated as a first-time offender. Second offenses generally apply only to separate instances. If you’ve been convicted for the same felony previously, the court will consider you to be a repetitive offender. Minimum sentencing increases substantially with each repeated offense.
Repeat offenders are also subject to something called aggravating and mitigating factors. Mitigating factors examine things like your ability to accept responsibility, remorse, and age. These can lead to a reduction in sentence.
Aggravating factors work in the opposite direction. These factors include violence and the use of weapons, and they’re not likely to do you any favors if you have prior convictions. While circumstances will also be taken into account, the legal system doesn’t look favorably upon people they consider to be repetitive dangers to society.
Get A Felony Defense Attorney Right Now
When you’re facing felony charges, every second counts – it doesn’t matter what class the felony is, or if you’ve had any prior convictions. You need to act immediately. You can call us today to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated felony criminal defense lawyer. Together we will carefully analyze and assess your situation, and determine how to protect your rights. Call anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free in-office consultation. Flexible appointment scheduling is available, and jail consultations are available for a fee.