A criminal charge is an official allegation made by a governmental authority claiming that somebody has committed a crime, or an unlawful act punishable by the state.
A charging document contains one or more criminal charges, or counts, and can be in the following forms:
- Complaint: A legal document that states the alleged charges, oftentimes filed by a law enforcement officer.
- Information: A legal document that states the alleged charges, oftentimes filed by the prosecutor.
- Indictment: A legal document issued by a Grand Jury that states the alleged charges.
- Traffic Ticket: A notice issued by a law enforcement official to a motorist, which accuses the motorist of violation of traffic laws. Oftentimes, a traffic ticket and complaint will appear on the same document.
A charging document commences a criminal case in court. Before an individual can be found guilty, the charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Punishments For Criminal Charges
While some criminal charges can garner multiple punishments (depending on circumstances) the levels of severity are divided into two main categories:
- A misdemeanor is considered a minor, or lesser, criminal charge. These include, but are not limited to, charges such as DUIs, petty theft, public intoxication, simple assault, disorderly conduct, trespass, vandalism, and reckless driving.
In Arizona, felonies are classified in range of class 1 through class 6, with class 1 felonies being the most serious and carrying the most severe punishment (Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-601, 13-602).
- A felony is considered a serious criminal charge. These include, but are not limited to, charges such as murder, aggravated assault, aggravated DUI, drug transportation, drug possession, drugs for sale, theft, sexual offenses, arson, burglary, tax evasion, and fraud. Depending on the severity of the offense, most felonies are punishable by prison and/or probation. The maximum fine for felonies is $150,000, plus surcharges.
Why You Should Hire The Glazer Law Office, PLLC
If you are serious about getting the best possible result in court and moving forward with your life, The Glazer Law Office, PLLC has the representation you need. We are certified by the State Bar of Arizona to practice in both federal and state court, hold 19-years of combined experience, and have earned many prestigious titles for our accomplishments, including Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
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