Different Types of Assault Charges
While assault may seem like a straightforward term, the legal definition of assault is broad and varied. Assault can range from causing physical harm to another person to making threatening comments regarding violent acts, even if you never commit any actual violence. Because assault charges are serious and complex, you should never try to represent yourself in an assault case—your best defense against any assault charge is to work with an attorney to reduce or dismiss the charges.
Simple or Misdemeanor Assault
The state of Arizona defines simple or misdemeanor assaults as behaviors that include knowingly causing injury to another person or touching an individual with the intent to harm or provoke them. Simple assault can also consist of recklessly causing harm to an individual or causing them to fear for their safety through words or actions. This type of assault charge can be further broken down into three classes: Class 1 assault must cause actual physical injury, Class 2 assault may include the threat of injury even if no harm is incurred, and Class 3 assault includes any type of touch that is meant to provoke or injure another.
Aggravated assault is a more serious charge that is considered a Class 3 or Class 4 felony. This type of assault charge often requires serious physical harm or disfigurement to occur, and also covers assault with any deadly or dangerous weapon, including automobiles. Furthermore, aggravated assault includes assault cases in which the defendant is 18 or older and the victim is 15 or younger, as well as assault committed against certain individuals, such as police, firefighters, teachers, healthcare workers, and prosecutors.
Have you been charged with assault in Tucson or do you have questions about your rights in an assault case? Please call the law office of Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law by phone at (520) 247-1789 or contact us online for help handling your situation. You can also take a look through our blog for more information on Arizona law and the steps to take if you are charged with assault or a crime.