Phoenix Assault Attorney
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Arizona state law dictates that an assault charge must involve either the threat of physical harm to a person or actual physical harm to a person due to the violent nature of the crime, per ARS 13-1203.
As a result, Arizona prosecutors and judges take violent crimes very seriously, pursuing harsh penalties against the defendant. In Arizona, assault is broken up into two offenses, misdemeanor assaults and aggravated assaults, and the penalties vary from case to case.
Facing Assault Charges?
Violent or threatened violence against another is punished severely in Arizona. If convicted, you face:
- Other penalties
If you are facing assault, battery, or a related charge, get MayesTelles PLLC in your corner.
Understanding Simple Assault
An assault charge in Arizona can be brought against a person in a variety of ways, beginning with simple assault or misdemeanor assault. We typically see misdemeanor assault charged in Municipal Courts or Justice Courts. However, misdemeanor assaults are oftentimes charged with additional felony counts in the Maricopa County Superior Court. A common misconception regarding misdemeanor assault is that a person was actually injured.
In Arizona, no injury is necessary in order for someone to be charged and convicted of assault. A prosecutor can proceed on charges of assault with nothing more than an allegation that a victim was placed in reasonable fear of imminent physical injury, or that a victim was touched with the intent to:
If a victim was actually injured, the law requires proof that the aggressor intentionally or recklessly caused the injury.
All charges of misdemeanor assault carry punishment of up to six months jail as a maximum incarceration period and a fine up to $2,500.00 plus surcharges. Courts often impose additional punishment, such as probation and different forms of counseling, such as anger management.
Resisting Arrest: ARS § 13-2508
What we often see is an assault charge in conjunction with another offense, arising out of the same incident. One charge often coupled with assault is resisting arrest, detailed in the Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2508. While resisting arrest can be accomplished by passive resistance involving no violence, the other two actions that can warrant this type of charge are:
- Using or threatening to use physical force against a peace officer or another
- Using a certain means that puts a peace officer or another at risk for injury
Resisting arrest is a class 6 felony when force or threatened force is used, and a class 1 misdemeanor when it involves passive resistance only.
What is Considered Aggravated Assault in Arizona?
In Arizona, aggravated assault is defined under the Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 13-1204. It is typically classified as a felony and can encompass a range of actions.
Some key elements of aggravated assault in Arizona include:
Use of a Deadly Weapon or Dangerous Instrument: This can be any object used to intentionally place someone in imminent fear of serious physical injury.
Serious Physical Injury or Disfigurement: Assault that causes substantial harm or impedes the normal functioning of another person.
Assault on Protected Individuals: The assault could be classified as an aggravated assault based on the special status of the victim, such as law enforcement officers, teachers, healthcare professionals, etc.
Impeding Normal Breathing or Circulation: The person intentionally impedes the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck.
It's important to remember that this is a general explanation, and the specifics of each case can impact the definition and charges of aggravated assault. Always consult with a legal professional for advice specific to your situation.
Is Aggravated Assault a Felony in Arizona?
Yes, aggravated assault is a felony in Arizona. Under Arizona state law, assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing physical injury to another person, and aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault that involves the use of a deadly weapon or the intention to cause serious physical injury. Aggravated assault is a class 3 felony in Arizona, which can typically carry a prison sentence of up to 8.75 years.
§ 13-1204 of the Arizona Revised Statutes explains that aggravated assault offenses are often charged as Class 3 felonies, punishable by between 5 and 15 years in prison. Team up with an aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix if you have been arrested or charged with any type of assault.
Contact a Phoenix Assault Lawyer at MayesTelles PLLC
Our team at MayesTelles PLLC is well versed in finding the underlying cause of assault allegations by examining all of the evidence, interviewing all witnesses, and challenging every aspect of the state's case. For more information on defense of your assault charges, contact the Phoenix criminal attorneys at MayesTelles PLLC any time, day or night.