Arizona Class 1 Misdemeanor Explained

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Arizona Class 1 Misdemeanor Explained

Crimes in Arizona are classified as petty offenses, misdemeanors, or felonies. Each of these classes comes with its own set of penalties.

Typically, misdemeanors carry less severe penalties than felonies. Class 1 misdemeanors, however, have the harshest consequences of all misdemeanors.

Class 1 misdemeanors have the harshest consequences of all misdemeanors.

You will have better preparation for your legal defense from Gurion Legal when you understand what a class 1 misdemeanor conviction entails. You and your attorney can work out a legal strategy that will focus on the crime you committed.

Continue reading below to learn more about class 1 misdemeanors in Arizona. You will learn about the crimes, the penalties, and other topics surrounding these violations.

What are the Types of Crimes in Arizona?

Before diving too deep into class 1 misdemeanors, you must have a general idea about the types of violations you can commit in Arizona. Options include petty offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies.

Petty Offenses

Petty offenses are the least serious crimes in Arizona. 

Since petty offenses are minor, the penalties are not typically severe. No petty crime carries the possibility of jail time. The harshest consequence you will receive is a hefty fine from the court.

In Arizona, most petty offenses do not lead to a trial. Most defendants only have to go to the municipal court one time. Your lawyer at Gurion Legal may even be able to work out your case without requiring your presence.


The next most severe crime you can commit in Arizona is a misdemeanor. These violations sit between petty offenses and felonies. There are sub-categories for how significant the crime was.

Since there are sub-categories for misdemeanors, the penalties will vary based on the category.

Misdemeanors all carry potential jail time, including class 1 misdemeanors

Misdemeanors all carry potential jail time, including class 1 misdemeanors. Sometimes, convictions like a DUI have additional penalties or carry mandatory minimums.  Sometimes a conviction for a misdemeanor could even affect your driver’s license or fingerprint clearance card.

Some misdemeanors may resolve without a trial, but sometimes they will go to trial.  Misdemeanors have both jury and bench (or judge) trials, depending on the offense. You will need to work with your defense attorney at Gurion Legal to prepare for the many possibilities.


Finally, the violations that carry the harshest penalties in Arizona are felonies. Crimes including murder, rape, and child abuse are under this category.

All felonies have the possibility of prison time. Some defendants have to spend the rest of their lives incarcerated after being found guilty of these crimes.

Felonies also have sub-categories, just like misdemeanors. Class 6 violations are the least serious, while class 1 crimes are the most significant.


What are Class 1 Misdemeanors?

As mentioned, there are sub-categories for misdemeanors. Class 1 violations are the most severe. This article will focus on these crimes.

Other misdemeanors include class 2 and class 3. 

Remember, class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious, meaning they carry more severe consequences. You may face jail time, fines, or other penalties, including license revocation.  Class 1 misdemeanors carry a maximum fine of $2,500 plus surcharges, jail time up to 6 months, and up to 3 years of probation (5 years for DUI).

Class 1 Misdemeanor Examples

Class 1 misdemeanors punish a wide variety of conduct. Consider the lists below to see someexamples.

Class 1 Misdemeanors Involving Driving

  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
  • Driving with a Suspended License
  • Using a Falsified Driver’s License
  • Racing on a Highway
  • Aggressive Driving

Class 1 Misdemeanors Involving Fraud

  • False Reporting
  • Using a Bad Check to Pay
  • Impersonating a Public Servant

Class 1 Misdemeanors of a Sexual Nature

  • Public Sexual Indecency 
  • Indecent Exposure

Class 1 Misdemeanors Involving Public Property

  • Trespassing
  • Disposing Garbage on Public Property Unincorporated by the State
  • Criminal Littering and Polluting

Miscellaneous Class 1 Misdemeanors

  • Some Animal Cruelty Violations
  • Burning Private Property if the Worth is Under $100
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Improper Conduct When Using Explosives or Other Weapons
  • Intentionally Causing Physical Injury to Another Person
  • Intimidating Another Person via a Phone Call
  • Prostitution
  • Loitering on School Property
  • Unlawful Assembly
  • Some forms of Unlawful Imprisonment

Can Class 1 Misdemeanor Violations Get Elevated?

Sometimes, repeatedly committing misdemeanors can result in charges for a felony, for example Aggravated Domestic Violence.

Sometimes having prior convictions for another misdemeanor can lead to a higher mandatory minimum sentence, like with DUIs.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Class 1 Misdemeanor?

The statute of limitations is the length of time that prosecutors have to charge you after a crime is committed. If you know the statute of limitations for class 1 misdemeanors, you can better understand if your case will move forward.

Most of the time, the statute of limitations for a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona is one year from the date the crime occurred

Most of the time, the statute of limitations for a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona is one year from the date the crime occurred. This timeframe should give you plenty of time to work with your defense attorney at Gurion Legal. Sometimes the statute of limitations is longer, though, for example with Causing Death by Committing a Civil Traffic Violation, A.R.S. 28-672.

Sometimes prosecutors will have discretion in filing a case as a misdemeanor or a felony.  For example, drug paraphernalia is sometimes charged as a misdemeanor.

What are the Penalties for Class 1 Misdemeanors?

If you face a conviction of a class 1 misdemeanor, you may wonder about the upcoming penalties. Understand that you could go to jail or receive a hefty fine.

The maximum jail time in Arizona for a class 1 misdemeanor is 180 days.

The maximum jail time in Arizona for a class 1 misdemeanor is 180 days. A skilled defense attorney like those at Gurion Legal can help you avoid jail time.

The maximum fine you can receive with a class 1 misdemeanor is $2,500. You may also be sentenced to up to three years of probation.

Are There Additional Penalties for Specific Class 1 Misdemeanors?

As mentioned earlier, some class 1 misdemeanors come with additional penalties. These consequences will depend on the offense you committed.

If you commit indecent exposure, you may have to register on the state’s sex offender registry. 

DUI cases involve the most additional penalties and can include suspension of your driver’s license, as well as  alcohol treatment and community service.

After a DUI conviction in Arizona, you will also have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. You will need to blow into the equipment to start your car to ensure your blood alcohol content is at a safe level.

Do Earlier Convictions Impact Class 1 Misdemeanor Penalties?

Traditional penalties for class 1 misdemeanors can already impact your life negatively. Not everyone will face the same consequences, especially if you do not have prior convictions on your record.

A judge may show leniency if you have a clean record.