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Criminal Law Blog

What Constitutes Assault?

July 25, 2016

In the past, assault and battery were considered two different situations, as well as two separate charges. However, in today’s legal system, assault has come to mean both the threat of physical harm and the actual act of physically harming another person. Understanding the different types of assault and the consequences associated with assault in Arizona is essential if you are facing these charges in court. Your defense attorney will evaluate your case and your side of the story to determine the best legal defense against these charges.

Reasonable Threats of Harm

A physical altercation does not need to occur for an individual to be charged with assault. According to the law, assault can be any intentional act that causes another person to fear for his safety, including verbal threats or threatening actions, even if no physical contact occurs. However, assault must be considered a reasonable threat to an individual’s harm—simply worrying that someone may harm you does not constitute assault, but a verbal threat or the brandishing of a weapon or fist can be used to make a charge of assault.

Bodily Harm

If you have committed and act that injured another person, either by striking them physically, detaining them, or through the use of a weapon, you can be charged with assault. The charge of assault is often broken down further into simple and aggravated assault. Aggravated assault often involves assault with a weapon, assault when an individual is trespassing on private property, sexual assault, or assault committed by individuals in certain public positions, such as police officers, firefighters, teachers, and medical care providers.
Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law, is a criminal defense attorney serving Tucson with more than 20 years of experience. You can find out more about Ms. Altschuler’s services and how she can help if you are charged with assault or any other crime when you visit our website or call (520) 247-1789 to request a consultation.

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