All states divide felonies into categories. Some states like South Dakota, Colorado, Virginia and Arizona have at least six different felony classes ranging in seriousness from Class 1 to Class 6. Examples of class 6 felonies nationwide would include:
- Possession of up to 2 ounces of methamphetamines – Colorado
- Receipt of a stolen firearm – Virginia
- Internet gambling – South Dakota
- Recklessly handling a dangerous weapon – Arizona
- Sale of child pornography – South Dakota
- Maximum and Minimum Sentences
Read on to learn more.
A class 6 felony presumptive sentence will be similar to the minimum felony sentence – one year of prison time up to five years in some states. Fines, in the form of restitution or as additions to the prison term range from $2,500 all the way up to $100,000.
Any felony may be enhanced if there are aggravating factors at play. This will include Class 6 felonies. Any violent crime in Colorado is penalized by an enhanced sentence. In Arizona, if you have a history of two or greater prior felonies, there is a minimum sentence of three years. You can qualify for alternative or diversion sentencing options when the crime did not have a component of violence and the offender has no felony criminal history. Also in Arizona, a judge may decide to sentence a Class 6 felony as a class 1 misdemeanor. An attorney may be able to assist in minimizing or even avoiding prison time with a case dismissal possible when a diversion program or community sentencing has been successfully completed.
Loss Of Rights
Once convicted of a Class 6 felony you normally lose the following rights:
- Qualify to run for public office
- Own or possess a firearm
- Receive permits or licenses needed for various occupations, including lawyer, accountant and many healthcare positions
Drug related crimes can also impact the ability of a person qualify for low-income housing options as well as food stamps.
Employment And Housing
A 2010 study showed 92 percent of all employers check for criminal records. A felony will make obtaining a position far more difficult and you will face similar problems obtaining housing. State labor agencies may be able to assists with lists of companies and individuals who are incentivized to hire felons or choose them as tenants.
Cleaning Your Record
Although in Arizona and South Dakota you may have your civil rights automatically restored, a felony conviction will still be a negative factor on your records. Many states have expungement laws but it is not often felony convictions are expunged. A criminal attorney can negotiate a Class 6 felony to a misdemeanor. Another way is to request a pardon from the Governor. This usually takes at least three to five years and will need a compelling reason to do so.
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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.