Getting Arrested as a Repeat Offender in Arizona

repeat offenderHaving a criminal record will affect your life in numerous ways. If you commit a crime for a second time, however, you will face even more serious repercussions. Getting arrested a second time within a specified time period can contribute to harsher sanctions and longer jail time.

Repeat Offense: An Overview

People who commit a criminal offense for the second, third or consecutive time will be considered repeat offenders.

Repeat offenders are treated much more harshly than first-time offenders, even if the crime isn’t major or violent. Still, the court will examine mitigating or aggravating circumstances to determine how the defendant should be treated.

The court will also examine whether the offense was committed on the same occasion.

As per A.R.S. 13-703, multiple felony offenses on one occasion and no prior conviction of the same felony would mean that you are going to be treated as a first time offender. If you commit a felony and later on you’re arrested a second time for the same offense, you will be considered a repeat offender.

Factors Examined to Determine the Sentence

All circumstances have to be examined by the Arizona court to determine the scope of the sanctions. All mitigating and aggravating factors will be taken in consideration.

The age of the offender, community support, whether the crime involved a minor and whether the defendant accepts responsibility for the crime will all play a role.

Mitigating factors include harming or killing someone, using a deadly weapon to commit the crime, whether any property was damaged , having an accomplice and committing an offense in a deprived manner.

All of these will be examined in the context of past felony history to reach a conclusion.

Mandatory Sentences for Repeat Offenders

The mandatory sentences for repeat offenders serve as a guideline that the Arizona court uses to establish a just punishment.

First-time felony offenders who commit non-dangerous crimes will face the following minimum sentences in Arizona:

  • Class 6 felony: six months in prison
  • Class 5 felony: nine months in prison
  • Class 4 felony: 18 months in prison
  • Class 3 felony: 2.5 years in prison
  • Class 2 felony: four years in prison

Keep in mind that non-dangerous crime first time offenders are all eligible for probation.

For a second-time felony offender who commits a non-dangerous crime, the minimum sentence will go up to the following:

  • Class 6 felony: one year
  • Class 5 felony: 1.5 years
  • Class 4 felony: three years
  • Class 3 felony: 4.5 years
  • Class 2 felony: six years

As you can see, the difference is massive.

For people who are committing a dangerous felony offense for the third time, the minimum sentence increases even further. A third-time non-dangerous Class 2 felony offense, for example, carries a minimum prison sentence of 14 years.

For dangerous offenses, the increase in the minimum sentence for a second or third crime is even higher.

The consequences of being a repeat offender extend beyond the scope of the prison sentence. There may be even bigger long-term repercussions. Having several offenses on your criminal record will limit the options you have to find employment or housing. Certain aspects of life could become more expensive or difficult to acquire or enjoy.

Facing charges as a repeat offender is serious. A first-time offense could be a mistake, which is why the court can be lenient. Repeat offenses establish a history of recidivism that isn’t going to be taken lightly in any part of the US, including Arizona. Get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may lose things you love and be prevented from accomplishing important goals.

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