Mandatory Sentencing

Arizona & Federal Mandatory Sentencing

Which Crimes Carry Mandatory Minimum Sentences?

Under state (Arizona) and federal laws, certain dangerous crimes carry mandatory sentences. This means that, unless the defendant can demonstrate mitigating circumstances, the judge must sentence the defendant to a certain amount of time in jail or prison. If you are facing a crime that falls under state or federal mandatory sentencing guidelines, we will fight to dismiss or reduce your charges. Contact the team at Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C. today to discuss your case.

Mandatory sentences fall under four categories:

  • Second felony offense
  • Dangerous crimes
  • Dangerous crimes against children
  • Sex crimes

Second Felony Offense

If you already have one felony on your record and are now charged with a second or third felony, you will face a mandatory prison sentence. Class 3 felony convictions carry penalties of 5 to 15 years in prison.

Dangerous Crimes

In order for a prosecutor to label a crime a "dangerous crime," it must involve the use of a deadly weapon or deadly instrument. The weapon can be anything intended to be used as a weapon, including guns, knives, baseball bats, cars, and even closed fists. Prosecutors often charge kidnapping, robbery, burglary, and assault as dangerous crimes.

Class 2 dangerous crime convictions carry penalties of 7 to 21 years in prison.

Sex Crimes / Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC)

Dangerous crimes against children include child molestation and sexual conduct with a minor. If convicted of these crimes, you can face between 10 and 27 years in prison with no possibility of early release. Other sex crimes also carry mandatory sentences, including sexual assault / rape (with a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison).

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

While state sentencing requirements in Arizona can be complicated, the federal sentencing guidelines are even more complex. In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Sentencing Act, which requires U.S. District Courts to follow certain sentencing guidelines whenever a defendant is found guilty of a federal offense.

Federal sentencing guidelines are often demanding, requiring very lengthy prison terms. In federal court, it is even more important that your criminal defense lawyer has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case.

Our firm's founder, Richard Suzuki, is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney with extensive knowledge of the criminal justice process, especially federal court rules and procedures. His experience in federal court and his insights into prosecution tactics provide an invaluable advantage to clients facing serious federal charges – in state or federal court.

If you have questions about your case, our firm can provide you with answers during a free case evaluation.​ Contact us today to learn more about your rights and how we can help.


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