A felony in Arizona carries a possible prison sentence of at least two years (Class 1 – Class 6). A grand jury, which consists of individuals whose job it is to determine if enough evidence is present to go forward with the case, usually find that there is enough evidence to proceed.
Do I Need to Go to Trial for a Felony?
If a grand jury finds that there is enough evidence to move forward, a prosecutor may offer to settle the case without going to trial. This is referred to as a plea deal or plea bargain. You have the option of accepting the plea bargain or you and your attorney may decide to counteroffer and negotiate to a different deal with which you are comfortable.
Plea bargains are popular because the accused essentially pleads guilty in exchange for a lesser charge and lesser punishment without having to go to trial. However, if your case does go to trial, it can take up to one year.
Illegal Search and Seizure
When you are facing a felony charge, you may resist giving authorities permission to search for anything. Without giving consent you are helping to protect yourself, as evidence that is seized may end up inadmissible in court. However, if the court produces the proper probable cause and warrant, you do not have the right to refuse search and seizure.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Despite the fact that it can be very emotional and overwhelming to be charged with a felony, you always have the option of choosing to remain silent. In essence, this means that you are not obligated to speak with law enforcement or investigators for the prosecution without having your attorney present; you can at least get their advice first. This right is granted to you under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Just remember that anything that you say can (and will) be used against you in a court of law.
It is very important to make the distinction that “Pleading the Fifth” is not the same as an admission of guilt. In fact, remaining silent cannot be used against you in proving guilt.
You will also want to refrain from sharing information with anyone – especially on social media, as it can be used against you.
Arizona Lawyers Helps Those Who in Arizona Who Have Been Charged with a Felony
If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony in Arizona, it can have a huge impact on the rest of your life. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the law.
At Arizona Lawyers, we work with our clients to help make a bad situation better. We will do our best to have your charges decreased – or even dropped. We understand what is at stake and we will help to fight for your rights. Before you take any action, speak to someone on our team. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call us today!