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Being convicted of a felony in Arizona can have far-reaching consequences that extend well beyond simply serving a sentence of incarceration or probation. One of the most significant collateral consequences is the loss of certain civil rights and privileges.

When you are convicted of a felony offense in Arizona, you automatically lose several key civil rights, including:

- The right to vote
- The right to serve on a jury
- The right to hold public office
- The right to possess a firearm

Having a felony on your record can also make it extremely difficult to find employment, housing, obtain certain professional licenses, and secure loans or lines of credit. The consequences of a felony conviction are indeed severe and long-lasting.

However, it is possible to have your civil rights restored and regain most of the rights and privileges you lost after completing your entire felony sentence. Here's an overview of the rights restoration process in Arizona:

Absolute Discharge from Imprisonment (Rights Restoration)

In Arizona, you become eligible to apply for a restoration of your civil rights (known as an "absolute discharge") once you have been absolutely discharged from any felony offense for which you were imprisoned, pardoned, or have had your rights otherwise restored.

This means you must have fully served any term of imprisonment imposed for your felony offense, including any period of probation or parole. Once you have completed your entire felony sentence, the rights restoration process begins with submitting an application to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry.

Along with the application, you will need to include:

- A certified copy of the court order, action of pardon, or certificate of absolute discharge
- A full set of fingerprints
- Payment of all applicable fees and fines related to your case

If your application for absolute discharge is granted, you will have the following civil rights automatically restored:

- The right to vote
- The right to serve on a jury
- The right to hold certain public offices and employment positions
- The right to obtain certain occupational and professional licenses

However, your right to possess a firearm is not automatically restored. For that, you would need to apply for a judicial pardon or set aside (also known as an expungement) of your felony conviction.

Set Aside / Expungement of Conviction

In addition to applying for an absolute discharge to restore some civil rights, Arizona law also allows you to petition the court to have your felony conviction set aside and expunged from your record. This process essentially clears your criminal record as if the conviction never occurred.

To be eligible for a set aside, you must meet the following criteria:

- You have been convicted of no more than one felony offense in Arizona
- You have completed all terms of your felony sentence, including imprisonment, probation, fines, etc.
- You have paid all applicable fees and fines associated with your case
- You have maintain a clean record and have not been convicted of any other offense besides the one felony

If the court grants you a set aside and expungement, you regain all of your civil rights without exception, including the right to possess firearms. However, an expunged conviction may still appear on certain background checks for law enforcement, military service, and some sensitive occupations.

The expungement process can be complex, so it's advisable to seek assistance from a qualified criminal defense attorney. Regaining your full civil liberties is an important step towards fully reintegrating with society after a felony. Don't let a past mistake permanently limit your rights and freedoms.

If you've been charged with a crime in Arizona, one of the first things you need to understand is whether the alleged offense is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. This legal distinction has major implications for the severity of potential punishments you may face if convicted.

At Katsarelis Law in Tucson, we know how daunting it can be to deal with criminal charges of any kind. Part of our job as criminal defense attorneys is to advise clients on what they're up against based on the nature and classification of the charges.

To give you a better understanding, here's a rundown of how misdemeanor and felony punishments differ under Arizona law:

Misdemeanor Punishments

A misdemeanor is a less serious crime, generally punishable by up to 6 months in county jail, monetary fines, probation, or a combination of those penalties. Some common examples of misdemeanors in Arizona include:

• Simple assault
• First offense DUI
• Petty theft (under $1,000)
• Disorderly conduct
• Possession of marijuana (under 2 lbs)

While misdemeanors are not as grave as felonies, they still create a permanent criminal record that could impact employment, housing, and other opportunities down the road. That's why even seemingly minor misdemeanor charges deserve a strong legal defense.

If convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor (the highest misdemeanor class), you could face the maximum jail sentence of 6 months, probation up to 3 years, and fines as high as $2,500 plus surcharges.

For less serious class 2 and 3 misdemeanors, punishment is capped at 4 months jail for class 2 and 30 days jail for class 3, along with up to 2 years probation and fines of $750-$500 respectively. Consequences increase for repeat offenses.

Felony Punishments

A felony, on the other hand, is a much more serious crime that carries harsher punishments upon conviction. Felony offenses in Arizona range from class 6 (least serious) to class 1 (most serious). Some examples include:

• Burglary
• Felony DUI
• Drug possession and trafficking
• Aggravated assault
• Manslaughter
• Murder

Unlike misdemeanors that only result in county jail time, felony convictions can lead to years or even decades behind bars in state prison. Felonies also bring heftier fines, longer probation terms, and collateral consequences that result in the loss of certain civil rights and freedoms.

For class 6 felonies like first-time drug possession, you could face 6-18 months in prison depending on any prior offenses. As the felony class rises, so do the potential punishments.

At the highest level, those convicted of class 1 felonies like first degree murder can potentially receive up to 25 years to life in prison with no chance of early release. The fines also become much steeper, reaching as high as $150,000 for the most serious offenses.

Felony convictions further bring long-lasting challenges like the loss of firearm rights, barriers to employment and housing, and the inability to vote or serve on a jury until civil rights are restored. For immigrants, a felony can result in deportation and inadmissibility to the U.S.

Plea Bargaining and Reducing Charges

Given the stark differences in misdemeanor vs. felony penalties, skilled legal representation is absolutely crucial when facing charges, especially felonies. Often, a top priority for the defense is to avoid a felony conviction at all costs by seeking a reduction to misdemeanor charges through strategic plea bargaining.

Even if felony charges can't be outright dismissed, an attorney may still be able to argue for a designation at the lower end of the class range. This makes a huge difference in sentencing.

Additionally, Arizona has revised its criminal code over the years to reduce or reclassify. Specific felony offenses in Arizona, like drug possession charges, may qualify for prosecutorial diversion programs or deferred prosecution agreements that avoid felony convictions for first-time offenders.

The key takeaway is that misdemeanors and felonies carry very different levels of severity in punishment. Understanding this distinction and building a solid defense strategy is crucial from the outset of a criminal case in Arizona.

Whether you're facing misdemeanor 0r facing prosecution, the skilled criminal defense team at Katsarelis Law can Fight to protect your freedom and future. Contact us today for a free consultation on the charges against you.

For nature lovers and culinary enthusiasts, foraging for wild mushrooms can be an exciting adventure. However, when it comes to certain types of mushrooms in Arizona, the law takes a very strict stance. In this article, we'll explore the legalities surrounding magic mushrooms and psychedelic mushrooms in the state, along with the potential penalties for possession.


Understanding Magic Mushrooms and Psychedelic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, are a type of fungi that contain the naturally occurring psychedelic compound psilocybin. When consumed, these mushrooms can produce powerful hallucinations and altered states of consciousness. Similarly, psychedelic mushrooms refer to any mushroom species that contain mind-altering compounds like psilocybin or psilocin.


The Legal Status of Mushrooms in Arizona

In Arizona, the possession of magic mushrooms or any psychedelic mushrooms is considered a felony offense. This means that if you are caught with these types of mushrooms, you could face serious legal consequences.


What is the Charge for Possession of Mushrooms?

Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3407, the possession of psilocybin mushrooms or other psychedelic mushrooms is classified as a Class 4 felony. The penalties for a Class 4 felony in Arizona can include:


- Up to 3.75 years in prison

- Fines of up to $150,000 (plus surcharges)

- Probation

- Drug counseling or treatment


It's important to note that the penalties can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the amount of mushrooms involved and whether there were any aggravating factors.


Are Shrooms Legal in Arizona for Medical or Recreational Use?

No, shrooms (magic mushrooms or psychedelic mushrooms) are not legal for medical or recreational use in Arizona. The state has not decriminalized or legalized the possession or use of these substances in any capacity.


Potential Defenses for Mushroom Possession Charges

If you are facing charges related to mushroom possession in Arizona, it's crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can evaluate the specifics of your case and potentially explore defenses such as:


- Unlawful search and seizure

- Lack of knowledge or intent

- Entrapment

- Mistaken identity


An attorney can also negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options, depending on the circumstances.


Call Katsarelis Law for Expert Criminal Defense in Tucson and Phoenix Arizona

If you or a loved one has been charged with mushroom possession felony or any other drug-related offense in Tucson or the surrounding areas, don't hesitate to contact Katsarelis Law. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience navigating the complexities of Arizona's drug laws and will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and freedom. Schedule a consultation today by calling (520) 510 0439 or contacting us here.


Remember, possessing magic mushrooms or psychedelic mushrooms in Arizona is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences. It's crucial to understand the legal risks and seek professional legal representation if you find yourself facing charges related to these substances.

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