What’s the Difference Between a Felony & Misdemeanor in Arizona?

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A felony and misdemeanor can shape the rest of one’s life in very different ways. Knowing the difference can be important when facing potential penalties. This blog will give examples of the penalties you may face and how a knowledgeable law firm can help. It will also explain how they may affect your life if charged with a felony or misdemeanor.


When compared to a misdemeanor, a felony is a more serious offense, typically causing or attempting to cause harm to others. Felonies can also be a result of repeated offense. Common felonies include murder, arson, rape, kidnapping, vehicle theft, larceny, fraud, robbery, domestic violence, aggravated assault, DUI, and drug violations.

In most cases, if convicted of a felony, jail or prison time cannot be avoided by payment of a fine. Felonies are places in several categories. From there, the crime is classified based on severity. Depending on this classification, the accused can spend from one year in jail to a life sentence in prison.

Felonies will be on the offender’s criminal record for the rest of their lives. There is little or no chance of getting them removed. While it is not impossible to obtain a job after receiving a felony, it will be more difficult to find an employer accepting of a convicted felon.


Of the two, a misdemeanor involves less serious crimes. These are the types of crimes that don’t typically cause physical harm to other people. Some of these types of crimes include non-violent offenses like disorderly conduct, theft (under a $500 value), verbal threatening, attempted assault with a weapon, indecent exposure, unlawful possession of a weapon, vandalism, traffic violations, DUI/DWI, and possession of a controlled substance.

The punishments for misdemeanors are usually anywhere from a fine of $1,000 to a year of jail time. Similar to felonies, the severity of the punishment depends on the severity of the crime.

A misdemeanor is a more severe crime than a citation/ticket so it will be on your criminal record, just like a felony. Future employers will want to know if you have any criminal offenses. It is important to be honest at the beginning of the relationship with your potential future employer. Take this chance to explain yourself.

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Do You Need a Qualified Defense Attorney in Your Corner?

Want to know how to get a misdemeanor offense off your record? Contact the attorneys at Antol & Sherman, PC for assistance. Our team of dedicated trial attorneys at Antol & Sherman, PC, have more than 60 years of combined legal experience and a strong track record of providing successful legal counsel. We have been practicing criminal, family and divorce, drug and DUI, and accident law in Flagstaff, Arizona and surrounding northern Arizona cities including Camp Verde, Sedona, Williams, Holbrook, Winslow, Cottonwood, Mayer, Seligman, Kingman, Page, St. Johns and more for over 30 years. Antol & Sherman, PC and their staff of lawyers would love to sit down and discuss your legal needs. Please call us at 928-241-6339, stop in today at Antol & Sherman, PC, 150 N Verde St Suite 102, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 or visit us at flagazlaw.com.

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