Types of Felony Classes in Arizona

types of felony classes

Types of Felony Classes in Arizona

Arizona has 6 different classes of felony with their own ranges of prison terms based on the number of offenses. Here is a quick review to help you better understand the felony classes. 

People often wonder what the differences between felonies and misdemeanors are. Typically, Arizona defines misdemeanors as “small crimes.” The punishments for misdemeanors range from community service to a few years in jail. Felonies, on the other hand, are “bigger crimes” and the penalties range from three in months in prison all the way up to the death penalty. 

How Many Felony Classes Are There in Arizona?

The state of Arizona has six different classes of felonies. Understanding the different types of felony classes can be confusing, especially since the higher class numbers are for lesser crimes. The mildest sentence would be for a class 6 felony, while class 1 felonies carry the heaviest penalties. 

Sentences will vary according to the number of previous offenses. A first offense has fewer possible consequences than a third or further offense. Every felony sentence carries the possibility of fees, fines, and restitution, and most sentences have the possibility of parole or probation.

Felony Classes and Their Punishments 

Felony Class (with an example of a common crime)1st Offense2nd Offense3rd Offense
Class 6

Disorderly Conduct

6 months to 2 years9 months to 2 years, 9 months2 years, 3 months to 5 years, 9 months
Class 5 

Aggravated Assault

6 months to 3 years, 6 months1 year to 3 years, 9 months3 years to 7 years, 6 months 
Class 4


1 year to 3 years, 9 months 2 years, 3 months to 7 years, 6 months6 years to 15 years
Class 3

Sexual Abuse (Victim under 15 years)

2 years to 8 years, 9 months3 years, 3 months to 16 years, 3 months7 years to 25 years
Class 2

Arson of an occupied structure

3 years to 12 years, 6 months4 years, 6 months to 23 years10 years, 6 months to 35 years 
Class 1


See below for sentencing guides


Class 1 Felonies Explained

Class 1 felonies are the only class where the sentencing depends entirely on the judgment of a court. First-degree and second-degree murder are the only class one felonies. They can have punishments that range from probation to a lifetime in prison, to the death penalty. 

Arizona has three possible life sentences for class 1 felonies, and each one has its own set of rules. 

Imprisonment for Life 

The sentence allows for eligibility for certain prison programs like the possibility of parole after a certain amount of time. The terms of a life sentence are 25 years if the victim was over the age of 15, and 35 years if the victim was under 15.

Imprisonment for Natural Life

If sentenced to natural life, the prisoner is not eligible for prison programs such as commutation, parole, work furlough, or work release. Essentially, the prisoner will never be released back into the community, and will spend the rest of their lifetime in prison. 

Death Penalty

When sentenced to capital punishment, the prisoner is not allowed to participate in any of the prison programs above. They can appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court for a reduced sentence of imprisonment for natural life, but may appeal no more than 8 times. 

Felony Charges Require an Attorney with Experience

A felony conviction can change your life in many ways. Those with convictions may have to spend years away from their family and friends, and even after serving their sentence, they may find it difficult to find a job or even housing. 

If you are facing felony charges, you need a lawyer with experience, passion, and excellent testimonials. Look no further than Van Norman Law—with over 25 years of experience in criminal law we know the ins and outs of the Arizona court system, and understand the importance of dedication to our clients. Contact us today for a consultation on your case.





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