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How Arizona Handles Criminal Assault Cases

September 15, 2023

Criminal assault is a very serious crime, and anyone prosecuted can receive severe punishments if they are convicted of this felony. In the state of Arizona, an individual convicted of felony aggravated assault could face consequences like restitution, prison time, financial penalties, a criminal record, and even lose their ability to purchase or use a gun. You can be accused of aggravated assault regardless of your intention to do so, especially if someone was harmed as a result. In order to give yourself the best chance of defending against this charge, you’ll need to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Janet Altschuler. 

When can I be charged with aggravated assault in Arizona?

In the state of Arizona, you can be charged with aggravated assault under A.R.S. § 13-1204 (A). This statute states that a person may be accused of aggravated assault if they provoke, insult, injury, or cause physical injury or harm to someone else. These acts could be perpetrated knowing, intentionally, or recklessly, meaning you do not necessarily have to intend to commit aggravated assault in order to be accused.  

Specific examples of circumstances that can garner an aggravated assault charge include:

  • Serious physical injury to someone else 
  • The use of a deadly weapon
  • Assault that causes ‘temporary but substantial disfigurement; temporary but substantial loss; impairment of any bodily organ or body part; or fractures any body part’
  • Assault committed while the victim is physically restrained or bound
  • Assault committed after entering a private residence 
  • Assault committed on a child under the age of 15
  • Attempt to grab an officer’s firearm or weapon 
  • Assault committed against a ‘police officer, peace officers, constables, firefighter, emergency treatment paramedic, teacher, school employee, or licensed health care professionals’

Whether or not a crime is considered aggravated assault is based on the outcome of the crime. For example, a fight between two people may be considered simple assault, while someone that attacks a victim and causes serious bodily harm could be tried for aggravated assault. Threatening someone can also be considered simple assault, while threatening someone with a deadly weapon like a firearm could be considered aggravated assault. The penalties for aggravated assault tend to be more severe than the penalties for simple assault, making it essential to work with an attorney that can help you get your charges reduced or dropped. 

The Consequences of Aggravated Assault in Arizona

In the state of Arizona, aggravated assault can be charged as a Class 2 felony, which is the most severe, to a Class 6 felony, which is less severe. Some of the penalties for first-time offenders include: 

  • Class 6 aggravated assault: Prison time of up to 3 years 
  • Class 5 Aggravated Assault: Prison time up to 4 years 
  • Class 4 Aggravated Assault: Prison time up to 8 years
  • Class 3 Aggravated Assault: Prison time up to 15 years
  • Class 2 Aggravated Assault: Prison time up to 21 years

In addition to aggravated assault prison sentences, convicted parties could also be subject to financial penalties of up to $150,000, as well as restitution to victims. The court can deem other punishments to be valid, such as a felony criminal record and assessments. 

How is a defendant convicted of aggravated assault?

In order to be convicted of aggravated assault, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the prosecuting attorney must prove that the accused committed every possible aspect of the crime. If there is any doubt on the part of the judge or jury, the charges could be completely dropped or potentially reduced. In order to have the best chance of getting your charges dropped, you need to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Tucson area, such as Janet Altschuler. 

What is the minimum sentence for aggravated assault in Arizona?

The least severe type of aggravated assault is a Class 6 aggravated assault. While a prison sentence for a Class 6 conviction can go up to 3 years, the minimum sentence is18 months. On average, the typical prison sentence for a Class 6 conviction is about 27 months. 

Contact Janet Altschuler Today! If you have been accused of aggravated assault in the Tucson area, don’t hesitate to contact Janet Altschuler right away. As a criminal defense attorney with over 20 years of experience defending clients in Arizona, she is committed to helping you build the strongest defense possible. She does everything in her power to defend your rights in court and get you the best possible outcome. Contact her today to schedule your consultation.

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