What is a class 3 misdemeanor?

There are three categories of crimes in Arizona: petty offenses, misdemeanor, and felonies. Among misdemeanor crimes, there are three separate classes:

A class 3 misdemeanor is the least severe type of misdemeanor, whereas a class 1 misdemeanor is the most severe. Class 3 misdemeanor are punishable by up to 30 days in jail, $500 in fines, and up to a year of probation. This is not to mention other potential consequences on your life for being convicted of a crime.

Examples of class 3 misdemeanors

Common class 3 misdemeanor crimes include:

Penalties for class 3 misdemeanors

Class 3 misdemeanors are subject to maximum penalties described in Arizona law. The potential punishment can be anything up to the following maximum sentences:

Maximum Jail TimeMaximum FineProbation Length
Class 3 Misdemeanor30 days$5000-12 months

If a person is convicted of a class 3 misdemeanor offense and has been convicted of the same offense within the past two years, then the sentencing range increases to that of a class 2 misdemeanor:

Maximum Jail TimeMaximum FineProbation Length
Class 3 Misdemeanor with one prior4 months$7500-2 years

In addition to the above-penalties, a judge can also sentence a defendant to the following additional penalties:

  • Community service;
  • Driver’s license suspension for vehicular crimes;
  • Court-ordered counseling and therapy;
  • Restitution for victims of crimes.

When a person is convicted of domestic violence or “DV” offense, court-ordered classes are usually part of the sentence.

Because class 3 misdemeanors crimes don’t typically have mandatory minimum sentences, a judge will have the discretion to sentence a person convicted of this type of crime to anything up to the maximum punishment allowed by law. During sentencing, the defendant or his attorney, however, will have an opportunity to try to convince the judge to provide a minimum sentence.

In addition to legal punishments, other consequences can arise from a criminal conviction. These include:

  • Higher car insurance rates for misdemeanors that are driving related;
  • Requirement to report the conviction on job applications;
  • Requirement to report the crime on rental applications;
  • Denial of home loans;
  • Consequences for professional licensing;
  • Immigration consequences/deportation.

What is the statute of limitations for class 3 misdemeanors?

Arizona misdemeanor crimes each have what I known as a “statute of limitations” which sets a time limit on when the state must bring criminal charges. If the prosecutor doesn’t bring the charges within that time limit, then they lose the right to bring charges altogether.

For class 3 misdemeanors, the statute of limitations is 1 year.

Note: The statute of limitations does not run when the defendant is not present in Arizona.