A class 5 felony is one step higher in severity than a class 6 felony (the least severe felony crime). They typical sentencing range for a class 5 felony is between 6 months and 2.5 years in prison for a first offense. However, if a defendant already has multiple prior convictions, the judge can impose a prison term of up to 7.5 years. A conviction can also result in fines. Probation is also an option if this is a person’s first felony offense.
Although the possible sentencing range is only slightly higher than a class 6 felony, unlike a class 6 felony crime, a class 5 felony is not eligible to be charged or converted to a misdemeanor. This means that a conviction will result in all the negative consequences that come with having a felony on your criminal record–such as loss of voting rights and the right to possess weapons.
What is a Class 5 Felony in Arizona?
A class 5 felony is a category of a crime in Arizona.
In Arizona, crimes can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are lesser types of crimes, and felonies are more serious. Misdemeanors can result in probation and a sentence in the county or city jails. But felonies can lead to time in prison and have longer sentences. Convicted felons also lose certain civil rights like the right to vote and bear arms.
Felony crimes are divided into six different classes:
- Class 1 felonies;
- Class 2 felonies;
- Class 3 felonies;
- Class 4 felonies;
- Class 5 felonies; and
- Class 6 felonies.
The lower the number of the felony class, the more severe the crime, and the higher the number the less severe. So class 1 felonies are the most serious felonies, and class 6 felonies are the least serious.
Examples of Class 5 Felonies
There are over 150 crimes in Arizona that are class 5 felonies. Some of the most common include the following:
- Certain types of aggravated assault;
- Criminal damage (if the damages are more than $2,000 but less than $10,000);
- Theft (if the value of the property stolen is between $2000 and $3000);
- Possession of a forgery device;
- Fraudulent use of a credit card (if the value involved was more than $1000).
A complete list of the types of class 5 felonies under Arizona law can be found here.
Punishments for Class 5 Felonies
The punishment for class 5 felonies depends on whether the crime is charged as “dangerous” or not and on how many prior felony convictions the person already has on his record. If the crime is not charged as dangerous, the sentencing range is as follows:
- No prior felonies: Probation eligible, or prison time from 6 months to 2.5 years.
- One prior felony: Prison time between 1 and 3.75 years.
- Two or more prior felonies: Prison time between 3 and 7.5 years.
Where a defendant convicted of a class 5 felony is sentenced within these ranges is up to the judge and can depend on a variety of aggravating or mitigating factors, which are discussed in more depth in this article on Arizona’s felony sentencing guidelines.
For a first-time dangerous offense, prison time is mandatory. A dangerous offense is one that involves the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. The punishment for a first-time class 5 dangerous felony is 2 to 4 years. Probation is never an option if you are convicted of a dangerous crime.
Statute of Limitations for Class 5 Felonies
The “statute of limitations” refers to the time limits that the prosecutor has to bring a case. If you are being investigated for a crime, but have not yet been charged, the state must bring the charges against you within a certain period of time before they lose the right to do so. According to ARS 13-170, the statute of limitations for class 5 felonies is seven years.
Note: The time period for the statute of limitations does not run any time the defendant is absent from the state.
Example: A person committed a class 5 felony crime in 2010. He is absent from the state of Arizona between the years 2011 and 2020. Can the state bring charge for the 2010 crime if he returns to Arizona in 2021 and gets arrested? Yes. Even though 7 years have passed since 2010 when the crime was committed, the period of time the defendant spent outside of Arizona does not count for the statute of limitations.