Arizona Assault Laws
In the state of Arizona, a person can be charged with assault even if the alleged perpetrator never physically touched the accuser. This may sound alarming, and it is considering the punishment could include jail time and fines. Most people are not familiar with Arizona assault laws however it is important to understand the various assault offenses and the potential consequences when you have been accused or arrested. A criminal defense attorney with Chuck Franklin Law is available at 480-545-0700 for those in need of legal guidance or who have questions regarding Arizona assault laws and their legal rights.
What Is Considered Assault in the State of Arizona?
According to the Arizona State Legislature, an individual commits assault by:
- Causing any physical injury to another individual in a way that is reckless or intentional
- Placing another individual in rational concern of impending physical injury intentionally
- Touching another individual knowingly and with the intention of provoking, injuring, or insulting that individual
A person can be charged with assault when an alleged victim is not physically injured. In fact, the victim need not have even been touched if it can be proven the perpetrator had the intent to provoke or insult the victim.
Often referred to as “simple assault,” there are several types of assault that may lead to criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances and extent of injury, a person may face misdemeanor or felony charges. Felony assault charges are the most common in Arizona and can result in serious punishment for those found guilty.
Arizona Assault Laws – Misdemeanor Offenses
There are three classifications of misdemeanor assault in the state of Arizona. Class 3 misdemeanor offenses are the least serious, while Class 1 offenses are the most serious in this category.
- Class 3 misdemeanor involves the intention to touch another person to provoke, injure, or insult that person. Even when no injury occurred, the accused may be convicted; it is the intent that counts.
- Class 2 misdemeanor charges must be proven by the State and require that the alleged victim felt rational concern of impending physical injury. No physical contact is necessary for a conviction on this charge.
- Class 1 misdemeanor charges require it be proven by the State that the victim absolutely incurred an injury, which does not have to be serious. Injuries may range from light redness of the skin to a broken bone or open wound.
Those convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor offense may face a maximum of six months in jail along with a $2,500 fine and three years of probation. Those facing misdemeanor assault charges may want to consider scheduling a consultation with Chuck Franklin Law to ensure that their legal rights remain protected.
There are several factors that may elevate a misdemeanor assault to a more serious charge of aggravated assault, according to Arizona State Legislature. These charges range from Class 2 to Class 5 felonies. Aggravated factors include:
- A person who is 15 years of age or younger is assaulted by a person 18 years or older
- Use of a vehicle, knife, gun, or other dangerous instruments/deadly weapons
- The victim suffers temporary loss of organ or limb, is temporarily disfigured, or suffers another physical injury of a serious nature
- Assault of a person who is physically bound or restrained
- Entering the private residence of a person and committing assault with the intent to inflict injury on a person within the residence
- Assault of a person who the alleged perpetrator knows or has reason to know is a peace officer, firefighter, health care practitioner, teacher, prosecutor, judicial officer, constable, park ranger, or code enforcement officer
Aggravated Assault Penalties in Arizona
Arizona assault laws impose severe and often life-changing sentences for those convicted. First-time offenders may face penalties including:
- Class 6 felony offense – 18 months to three years in prison
- Class 5 felony offense – two to four years in prison
- Class 4 felony offense – four to eight years in prison
- Class 3 felony offense – five to 15 years in prison
- Class 2 felony offense – seven to 21 years in prison
Those convicted of a felony aggravated assault offense may also face fines of as much as $150,000. A conviction for any assault charge can have lasting consequences that impact every aspect of a person’s life. A conviction will result in a criminal record; those found guilty have limited employment opportunities, difficulty securing a mortgage loan, and are limited when trying to obtain a professional license. A criminal conviction not only removes a person’s freedom, it also follows them around through several areas of their professional and personal life for the long-term.
Assault Defense Strategies
When charged with assault there are many potential defense strategies that have been proven effective depending on the facts of the case. Some of these defense strategies include:
- Acting out of fear or in self-defense
- The State lacks evidence
- The accused did not commit the act he/she is accused of
- Reaction to a situation the accused felt was threatening
- Other individuals or parties were involved
- Lack of witnesses
- The incident was not intentional and was purely accidental
- Victim is not credible and has made unfounded claims in the past
- The accused was forced to respond due to threatening or provocation from the alleged victim
- The accused individual’s Constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement during arrest, charges, or otherwise
It is always recommended that motorists give consent to submit to a There are a wide range of defense strategies that may be used for those facing assault charges. It is important to consider visiting with an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer from the beginning; your legal rights must be protected.
Consider Scheduling a Consultation Today
Arizona assault laws can be confusing and difficult to understand for those who are accused of a criminal offense. Law enforcement officers often try to coerce those accused to talk without benefit of a defense attorney. It is not uncommon for police to use pressure in order to get a person to admit to assault or another crime they did not commit. You have legal rights and are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Those with questions or who need legal guidance and support are invited to schedule a consultation with Chuck Franklin Law at 480-545-0700.
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