When a person is convicted of a crime, they are made to serve a particular sentence as a means of paying a debt to society and to deter them from committing the same or similar acts in the future. As such, if a person is convicted of a subsequent crime in the future, they will face a harsher punishment and be labeled as a “repeat offender.” According to a report released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, nearly four out of every ten people released from prison are incarcerated again within three years.
Individuals who display the same criminal behavior after being previously convicted are generally considered to be a danger to society. For this reason, a person with prior convictions will oftentimes be given a harsher sentence than a person with a clean record, even if the two people are convicted of the exact same offense. Since Arizona has some of the harshest criminal penalties in the nation, having a prior criminal offense on one’s record could be the difference between a few months in jail and several years in state prison, depending on the crime.
This is especially prevalent in DUI/DWI sentencing. For example, a first-time DUI can carry a mandatory minimum 10 days in jail, while a second offense can bring up to 90 days in jail. Finally, if a person receives a third DUI conviction within seven years, they can face up to two years in state prison and a felony record.
The effects of being labeled a repeat offender can extend far further than the immediate legal consequences. In addition to harsher prison sentences, having a repeat criminal record can greatly restrict a person’s opportunities for employment and housing. Depending on the offense, individuals who are convicted of multiple criminal offenses may be required to leave their family home if foster children live with them. In short, the collateral consequences of repeat offenses can make it extremely difficult for a person to re-integrate with society and can follow them around for the rest of their lives.
CHARGED WITH A CRIME? CALL (480) 418-0776
If you are facing charges for a repeat criminal offense, it is vital you retain the services of a powerful legal team as soon as possible to defend your freedom. At Naegle Law Firm, our knowledgeable Mesa criminal defense lawyers have defended countless clients against a variety of allegations and can use our expertise to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation.
To find out more about what our AV® Preeminent™ Rated team can do for you, schedule a free consultation or contact our office online today.