Under Arizona’s laws, misdemeanors are crimes punishable by up to six months in county or local jail. More serious crimes, called felonies, are punishable by state prison terms of one year or more.
For more information on felonies in Arizona, see Arizona Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Misdemeanors in Arizona may be designated as Class 1, 2, or 3. If lawmakers fail to designate a misdemeanor, then it is punishable as a class 2 misdemeanor. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § § 13-601, 13-602.)
A class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § § 13-707, 13-802.) Prostitution is an example of a class 1 misdemeanor.
For more information on prostitution and related crimes, see Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in Arizona.
Class 2 misdemeanors in Arizona are punishable by up to four months in jail and a fine of up to $750. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § § 13-707, 13-802.) Intentionally exposing another person to an infectious disease is a class 2 misdemeanor.
For more information, see Transmitting an STD in Arizona.
Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious misdemeanors in Arizona. They are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § § 13-707, 13-802.) For example, asking a person to buy, sell, or give you alcohol if you are under the age of 21 is a class 3 misdemeanor.
For more information on this and related crimes, see Arizona Minor in Possession of Alcohol Charges and Penalties.
Additional fines may be imposed against defendants convicted of drug crimes. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-821.)
A statute of limitations is a time limit, set by lawmakers, by which the state must begin criminal prosecution or the defendant can have the case dismissed. For most misdemeanors in Arizona, the state has one year after the crime is committed to begin prosecution.
For more information, see Arizona Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Any criminal conviction, even a misdemeanor conviction, can have serious consequences that can make life very unpleasant. If you are charged with a crime, you should talk to an Arizona criminal defense attorney about your case. An attorney can tell you what to expect in court and how to prepare your case to protect your rights and obtain the best possible outcome.