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Criminal Law Blog

What Comes Next If You’ve Assaulted Someone

November 24, 2023

If you have been accused of assaulting someone in the state of Arizona, your future is on the line. This may seem like an overstatement, but a conviction for assault could have huge consequences on your personal and professional life for the foreseeable future. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, it’s essential to know exactly what you can expect from the accompanying legal proceedings and how the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Janet Altschuler can help you get the best chance of achieving a more favorable outcome. 

1. Arrest and Charges

You can be accused of assault if the victim has opted to press charges. After the alleged assault, you may be arrested by law enforcement. This arrest could be predicated on evidence, a warrant, or direct observation of the alleged crime. You could also be questioned by law enforcement regarding your involvement in the incident. Do not speak to anyone about your case or what happened until you have your defense attorney present. When they say anything can be used against you, they mean it—you have the right to remain silent, and you should always exercise it. After the arrest, you’ll be formally charged with either misdemeanor or felony offenses, depending on the severity and intent. 

2. Initial Appearance

After an arrest, you’ll be brought before a magistrate for your initial appearance, usually within 24 hours. Here, you’ll be informed of the charges against you, and bail will be set. This is your first major interaction with the judicial system. An attorney can help ensure your rights are protected and potentially even advocate for a more reasonable bail amount.

3. Gathering Evidence and Building a Defense

Upon securing legal representation, your attorney will begin a meticulous review of the evidence, witness statements, and any other pertinent details. Janet Altschuler’s extensive experience allows her to find inconsistencies or mistakes in the prosecution’s case, seeking opportunities to advocate for her clients most effectively.

4. Pre-trial Proceedings

Before your trial, both the defense and prosecution will engage in a series of meetings and hearings. These include arraignments, where pleas are entered, and potential plea bargain discussions. With her two decades in the Tucson legal community, Janet Altschuler understands the nuances of negotiating with prosecutors, aiming for reduced charges or alternative resolutions when possible.

5. Trial

If no plea agreement is reached, the case proceeds to trial. In Arizona, you have the right to a jury trial for most assault charges. This is a multi-step process including jury selection, opening statements, witness testimonies, cross-examinations, closing statements, and finally, jury deliberation and verdict.

6. Sentencing

If the verdict is guilty, you will receive your sentence. The nature of the punishment will depend on various factors. This includes the classification of the assault (misdemeanor or felony), any prior convictions, and specific circumstances of the incident. Penalties can range from fines and probation to incarceration. 

7. Appeals

If convicted, you have the right to appeal the decision. An appeal is a request for a higher court to review the lower court’s ruling. Janet Altschuler can guide you through this process, identifying potential grounds for appeal.

Accused of Assault in Arizona? Contact Tucson Attorney Janet Altschuler Today

Facing assault charges in Arizona can be overwhelming, given the serious implications and the complexities of the state’s legal system. Janet Altschuler is here to help you defend yourself and protect your rights. If you find yourself facing such charges, securing experienced representation should be your top priority. Don’t wait to contact her today if you have been accused of assault. 

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