Assault charges are taken very seriously in Arizona because they are crimes that cause unwarranted harm to another person. There are several different scenarios when a person can be charged with assault. The different types of assault charges vary according to the injuries sustained by the victim of the assault. With any assault charge, you need an experienced assault attorney to defend your rights and present your case.
What is a Misdemeanor Assault?
Misdemeanor assault charges generally arise from unwelcome provocations that cause little or no injuries. A simple threat of inflicting a minor injury, such as “I’m going to slap you silly if you say that again…” can merit a simple assault charge. An intentional effort to cause injury that results in a scrape or bruise often warrants a simple assault charge. In fact, the mere act of touching someone in an unwelcome manner, like “poking or prodding,” even though no actual injury is caused, is enough for a simple assault charge.
Clearly, misdemeanor assault charges rarely include any real injury or any injury that would require more than the most basic medical treatment. However, the law in Arizona specifies a number of factors that can turn a simple misdemeanor assault into an aggravated felony assault. All aggravated assault charges in Arizona carry a sentence of prison time if convicted. An experienced assault attorney can advise you of your rights and provide counsel regarding charges.
What is Aggravated Assault?
A person may be charged with aggravated assault under A.R.S. § 13-1204 (A) if they knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally provoke, injure, insult, cause physical injury or harm to another person. Specifically, a person may be guilty of felony assault or aggravated assault if they:
- Cause serious physical injury to another person
- Use a deadly weapon or dangerous object as a weapon
- Commit assault by means of any force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement
- Commit assault by means of any force that causes temporary but substantial loss
- Commit assault by means of any force that causes temporary but substantial impairment of any bodily organ or body part
- Commit assault by means of any force that causes temporary but substantial fracture of any body part
- Commit assault while a victim is bound, physically restrained, or while the victim’s capacity to resist the assault is substantially impaired
- Commit assault after entering the private residence of another with the intent to commit assault
- Are 18 years of age or older, and commit assault on a child who is under the age of 15
- Commits a misdemeanor assault while violating a valid order of protection or restraining orders
- Gain Control or attempts to gain control of a police officer’s firearm or other weapon
- Commit any assault against a police officer, peace officers, constables, firefighter, emergency treatment paramedic, teacher, school employee, or licensed health care professionals engaging in their occupational duties, including public defenders or criminal prosecutors
What are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault?
Arizona law classifies the different forms of aggravated assault as either class 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 felonies. Each class of felony is subject to a different penalty sentencing range. The ranges increase for dangerous offenses and repeat offenders. A person convicted of aggravated assault can be subject to any or all of the following penalties: jail time, fines, probation, community service, and restitution.
Aggravated assault may be charged as Class 6 felony through Class 2 felony. The lower class numbers are more severe. Below are aggravated assault penalties for first-time offenses:
- Class 6 Aggravated Assault: Prison terms 18 months to 3 years.
- Class 5 Aggravated Assault: Prison terms 2 to 4 years.
- Class 4 Aggravated Assault: Prison term 4 to 8 years.
- Class 3 Aggravated Assault: Prison term up to 15 years.
- Class 2 Aggravated Assault: Prison Term 7 to 21 years.
In addition to prison terms, aggravated assault convictions may result in fines up to $150,000, various victim restitutions, additional fees and assessments, a felony criminal record, and any other penalties the court may declare is necessary.
How Can an Assault Attorney Help Me?
An assault charge is a serious matter in Arizona. It is important to know the law and the nuances that stipulate a simple assault or an aggravated assault. The difference can mean significant changes to the charges against you and their possible penalties.
If you have been charged with a simple or aggravated assault in Apache Junction, Arizona, the attorneys of Matthew Lopez Law would be pleased to defend your rights. Because aggravated assault charges are complex, we invite you to come into our office to discuss a case strategy. Call or email us to schedule a free consultation. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our attorneys will travel to wherever is most convenient for you to meet and speak about your case.