Class 6 Felony Crimes in Arizona

For criminal offenses, Arizona law classifies felony levels into six categories, with a class 6 felony being the least severe.

If you are sentenced to a felony in Arizona, you can receive prison time ranging from four months to multiple years (misdemeanors can result in a sentence in the county or city jail ranging from 1 day to 180 days). Felony convictions can also result in expensive fines, long terms of probation, court costs, and significant long-term consequences on your public record.

What is a Class 6 Felony Crime in Arizona?

Felony-level crimes in Arizona are more serious in their nature and its consequences than misdemeanors, and generally the higher the level of Felony the more serious the potential penalty.  Class 1 Felony like first-degree murder is much more serious than a Class 6 Felony which are generally non-dangerous offenses even though they can involve behaviors that put others at risk.

Examples of Arizona Class 6 Felonies

Arizona statutes identify more than 200 unique class 6 felonies. Some common examples of class 6 felony offenses include:

  • Criminal impersonation
  • Theft (if the value of stolen items is between $2000 and $3000)
  • Aggravated assault after breaking and entering
  • Some types of Aggravated DUI
  • Unlawful discharge of firearms
  • Some types of aggravated domestic violence
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Sexual conduct with a minor over the age of 15

You can find a complete list of all felony offenses in Arizona, including class 6 felonies, here.

Punishments for Class 6 Felonies

A conviction for a Class 6 felony can result in fines, probation, or a prison sentence. The felony sentence durations typically range from 4 months to 5.75 years. This sentencing range can increase, however, if any of the following apply:

  • The crime was a dangerous one
  • The conviction was for a dangerous crime against a child
  • The conviction was for a series of repetitive offenses
  • There were aggravating factors
  • The defendant has a criminal history

The penalties can also decrease if there are mitigating factors in your favor.

Can a Class 6 Felony Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

A Class 6 Felony offense stands at the threshold where conviction graduates from the misdemeanor to the felony level. Although misdemeanors and felonies both appear on your public record, because the consequences of a felony record can be considerably worse than a misdemeanor, in some situations Arizona law allows Judges in Class 6 Felony cases some sentencing flexibility that are not available with other classes of felonies.

Specifically, in some cases, a prosecutor might voluntarily try a class 6 felony as a class 1 misdemeanor. This can be on the prosecutor’s initiative, or as part of a plea agreement

What is a “Wobbler” Offense?

In other situations, upon conviction, the judge can designate a Class 6 Felony conviction to be a class 1 misdemeanor conviction instead. It is this capability to switch from a felony to a misdemeanor that has led some to call class 6 felony charges “wobblers.”

For a wobbler offense, the main decision point for the judge between imposing a class 6 felony or a misdemeanor sentence would be whether being convicted for a felony conviction would be unduly harsh under the circumstances. Also, having prior convictions for two or more felonies removes the offense from “wobbler” consideration, and the sentencing court must treat it as a felony conviction.

Delayed Decisions on Felony Versus Misdemeanor Convictions

In some situations, instead of deciding right away whether to impose a felony or misdemeanor sentence, the judge can suspend the decision pending the defendant’s completion of a felony probationary period.

This leaves the conviction in “undesignated” status, meaning neither felony nor misdemeanor status yet applies. If probation is completed successfully, then the judge must choose the misdemeanor conviction over the class 6 felony.

Even if the judge imposes a misdemeanor sentence, Arizona law still treats a conviction for a wobbler offense as a felony conviction in some of the details.

For example, although an undesignated class 6 felony offense will be treated as a misdemeanor until the court actually enters an order designating the offense a misdemeanor or a felony, the following felony conviction measures still apply:

  • Placing the defendant on felony probation
  • For DNA collection
  • Determining the defendant’s right to possess a firearm
  • Being used as a historical prior felony conviction
  • Being admissible for impeachment purposes in a subsequent trial
  • Being used to enhance the sentence

Contact a Defense Lawyer in Arizona for Help With a Class 6 Felony

Within the Arizona criminal justice system, there can be serious long-term consequences for felony convictions, therefore it is important to contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney right away for legal assistance. At AZ Defenders, our experienced felony attorneys can guide you through the court process and help build the strongest possible defense against any criminal charges you may be facing.

If you need help with an Arizona class 6 felony case, contact AZ Defenders today for a free consultation by calling (480) 456-6400.