Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Arizona

Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Arizona

When certain criminal offenses are committed, the perpetrators may face mandatory minimum sentences if they are convicted. Mandatory minimum sentencing can apply in cases involving drug crimes, sex crimes, and more. Although all states have these sentencing requirements, it is unclear whether they have actually done anything to reduce overall crime rates. Once thought to be a solution to crime, mandatory minimum sentencing is inflexible and has consequently led to prison overcrowding, exorbitant costs to taxpayers, and other consequences. Mandatory minimums have also been criticized for disproportionately targeting poor and minority groups.

Below is a brief overview of mandatory minimum sentencing for felony crimes in Arizona.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Non-Dangerous Felonies in Arizona

  • First-time felony offense: Between 6 months and 4 years in prison
  • Repeat non-dangerous felony offenses – Category 1 (convicted of two felony offenses on two separate occasions): Same as above
  • Repeat non-dangerous felony offenders – Category 2 (convicted of three felony offenses on separate occasions: Between 1 and 6 years in prison
  • Repeat non-dangerous felony offenses – Category 3 (convicted of a felony with two or more previous felony convictions): Between 3 and 14 years in prison

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Dangerous Felonies in Arizona

Dangerous felonies come with harsher penalties regardless of whether the crime was a first offense. A first-time felony for a dangerous crime, such as a weapons crime or violent crime, will face a minimum of 1.5 years in prison for a class 6 felony. Class 2 felonies carry a minimum 7-year prison sentence.

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