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Classes of Misdemeanors in Arizona

A misdemeanor is a crime. It isn’t as severe as a felony, but can still carry significant penalties such as community service, fines and even jail time. The types of misdemeanors vary by state so it’s important to understand how they are classified in Arizona.

There are three classes of misdemeanors in Arizona: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. Each class has maximum punishment which may consist of a fine and jail time. People who are first time offenders typically receive less severe punishment than people who have prior convictions. When it comes to any misdemeanor, people who have prior petty offense convictions or prior misdemeanor convictions will be charged differently than people who have a clean record. They may be charged with a higher misdemeanor level even though they would be charged with a lower misdemeanor level if they had no prior convictions.

The first and most serious kind of misdemeanor is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,500 or a penalty of up to six months in jail. There are a wide variety of Class 1 misdemeanors. Some examples include prostitution, issuing a bad check, disorderly conduct and some types of cruelty to animals.

The second most serious type is a Class 2 misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for these types of misdemeanors includes fines of up to $750 and up to four months in jail.  Examples of Class 2 misdemeanors include some alcoholic beverage violations, dog license violations and contempt of court.

A Class 3 misdemeanor is the least serious type. They can involve a fine of up to $500 and 30 days in jail. A common Class 3 misdemeanor charge is when someone asks a person to buy or give them alcohol when they are under the age of 21.

It’s important to work with an attorney in any type of case so that you fully understand your options. An attorney can fully explain what your charges mean. You may be offered a plea bargain which means you can plead guilty to a lesser charge and receive less severe charges and penalties. It’s important to understand your options before you make a decision in this type of case.