What Is Aggravated Assault in Arizona?
Aggravated assault in Arizona involves one person intentionally attacking another to inflict severe bodily injury. This offense often includes the use of a weapon or anything likely to cause death or serious harm. It's considered a more serious form of misdemeanor assault in Phoenix. Aggravated assault takes into account not only the weapons used but also the individuals involved in the altercation. There are specific scenarios in which a person can be charged with aggravated assault in Arizona:
- Inflicting serious serious physical harm or injury on another person;
- Using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument on another;
- Applying force that causes substantial disfigurement, organ impairment, or fractures;
- Inflicting injury on a physically restrained or impaired individual;
- Assaulting someone after entering a private residence with the intent to commit assault;
- Assaulting an individual aged 15 or younger when the perpetrator is 18 or older;
- Taking control or attempting to possess a firearm or deadly weapon used by a peace officer;
- Committing assault on a Department of Corrections employee while in custody;
- Assaulting a peace officer, constable, firefighter, teacher, healthcare practitioner, prosecutor, code enforcement officer, park ranger, public defender, or judicial officer;
- Using a simulated deadly weapon to cause physical injury to another.
Arizona Aggravated Assault Statistics
Arizona has a significant incidence of aggravated assault, which stands as the most prevalent form of violent crime. In 2019, the state reported 22,704 cases of aggravated assault. With a rate of 312 incidents per 100,000 people, Arizona's rate surpasses the national average of 250 per 100,000, ranking it as the 12th highest among all states. These statistics highlight the need for effective legal representation and defense strategies for those facing charges of aggravated assault in Arizona.
Aggravated Assault Classifications & Definitions
Aggravated assault in Arizona is classified into different categories, each with its own set of definitions and potential felony classifications. We've outlined the classifications and corresponding definitions:
- Class 3 Felony: Most cases of aggravated assault fall under this category.
- Class 2 Felony: If the victim is a minor under the age of 15, the assault can be elevated to a Class 2 felony.
- Class 4 Felony: If the assault results in substantial disfigurement, impairment of organs, or fractures, it may be classified as a Class 4 felony.
- Class 5 Felony: Taking possession of a firearm used by a peace officer or committing assault while incarcerated can lead to a Class 5 felony designation.
- Class 6 Felony: In certain circumstances, aggravated assault can be designated as a Class 6 felony, such as assault on a bound or impaired individual.
In addition to the classifications, there are specific definitions related to aggravated assault in Arizona:
- Serious Physical Injury: Refers to an injury that poses a risk of death or disfigurement to a person;
- Dangerous Instrument: Describes an object that has the potential to cause serious physical injury, even if it's not primarily designed for that purpose;
- Order of Protection: Court orders individuals can file if they believe they are in danger of stalking, harassment, assault, or other forms of harm;
- Deadly Weapon: In Arizona, a deadly weapon encompasses firearms and any object intended for lethal use.
Contact a Phoenix Aggravated Assault Lawyer in Arizona
Facing aggravated assault charges in Arizona? Call the Law Offices of Brandon White at (602) 884-8788 or contact us online for seasoned legal representation.
Aggravated Assault Based on a Victim
In cases of aggravated assault, the characteristics of the victim can also contribute to the severity of the crime. If you had knowledge or reason to believe that the victim falls into certain categories, the assault can be elevated to aggravated assault. Here are some victim categories that can result in aggravated assault charges:
- Peace officers: This includes police officers, constables, and individuals acting under their direction;
- First responders: This includes firefighters, fire investigators, EMTs, or paramedics performing their official duties;
- Teachers: This includes teachers and school employees while on school grounds, adjacent areas, school vehicles, or during organized classroom activities;
- Licensed healthcare practitioners: This applies when they are engaged in their professional duties;
- Judicial officers: This includes prosecutors or public defenders while performing their duties or as a result of their duties;
- Code enforcement officers: This relates to individuals harmed while engaged in official duties or as a result of their duties;
- State or municipal park rangers: Includes rangers attacked while on the job or carrying out tasks related to their employment.
It's important to understand that assaulting individuals falling into these victim categories can lead to aggravated assault charges. If you're facing any of the above charges, we encourage you to seek immediate legal assistance to protect your rights and mount a strong defense.
Offenses Related to Arizona Aggravated Assault
In addition to the various factors that determine the severity of aggravated assault charges in Arizona, certain related offenses can come into play. It's important to understand these offenses when facing aggravated assault allegations, as they can impact the legal consequences and overall defense strategy. Here are some offenses commonly associated with Arizona aggravated assault:
Aggravated assault charges can fall under the domestic violence statute if the victim is someone with whom you have a specific relationship. This can include spouses, ex-spouses, co-parents of a child, pregnant individuals carrying your child, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings (by blood or marriage), or current/former romantic or sexual partners. The court considers the nature and duration of the relationship to determine if it qualifies as domestic violence.
Felony endangerment occurs when a person recklessly puts another individual at substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.
Disorderly conduct charges can be applicable if an individual intentionally disturbs the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family, or person. This includes engaging in fighting, violent behavior, making unreasonable noise, or using abusive/offensive language likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation. Recklessly handling, displaying, or discharging a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument also falls under disorderly conduct.
Threatening or Intimidating
This offense occurs when a person intimidates or threatens another individual through conduct or words that could result in bodily injury or cause significant damage to someone's property. The crime of threatening or intimidating can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the case's specific circumstances.
Reach Out to Our Phoenix Aggravated Assault Lawyers
If you're facing aggravated assault charges in Phoenix, Arizona, reach out to our experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon White for dedicated legal representation. Call (602) 884-8788 or contact us online today.
How Aggravated Assault Convictions Happen in Phoenix?
For an aggravated assault conviction to occur in Phoenix, the State must establish the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements encompass not only the act of assault but also the factors that elevate it to the level of "aggravated" assault.
The prosecution must demonstrate that an intentional attack was threatened or carried out, which caused legitimate fear in the victim. Additionally, the presence of a deadly weapon, such as a knife or gun, must be proven. The prosecution may also need to establish that the defendant concealed their identity or inflicted a serious injury. In certain cases, it's necessary to prove that the victim belonged to a protected class, such as being a police officer.
To defend against an aggravated assault charge in Phoenix, a defendant may argue mistaken identity, asserting that they weren't the perpetrator. Self-defense can also be invoked as a defense strategy. Another possible defense is challenging the claim by proving that the victim possessed the alleged weapon, which may lead to a reduction of the charge to simple assault if the elements that elevate it to aggravated assault can be disproven.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Arizona
Aggravated assault may be charged anywhere from a Class 6 felony to a Class 2 felony (most severe). The severity of the charge is based on the severity of the crime, the circumstances surrounding the crime, and if the victim was a police officer or other public servant, or a child under 15 years of age.
Individuals who are convicted of aggravated assault in Phoenix are generally sentenced to a presumptive prison term, according to Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. However, prison sentences can range from a minimum term of imprisonment to a maximum term of imprisonment, depending on a variety of factors.
These factors can include:
- Whether a weapon or dangerous instrument was used during the assault;
- Whether the alleged offender has prior convictions;
- Whether the assault involved a minor under the age of 18;
- Whether the assault resulted in death or serious bodily injury;
- Whether the assault was mitigated; and/or;
- Whether the victim was pregnant at the time of the assault.
Below are felony assaults/aggravated assault penalties for first-time offense convictions:
- A conviction for a class 6 felony aggravated assault offense can result in a prison term ranging from 18 months to three years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 27 months;
- A conviction for a class 5 felony aggravated assault offense can result in a prison term ranging from two years to four years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is three years;
- A conviction for a class 4 felony aggravated assault offense can result in a prison term ranging from four years to eight years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is six years;
- A conviction for a class 3 felony aggravated assault offense can result in five to 15 years in prison, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 7.5 years;
- A conviction for a class 2 felony aggravated assault offense can result in a prison term ranging from 7 to 21 years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is 10.5 years;
- Additionally, fines of up to $150,000.
Additionally, aggravated felony assault convictions may result in court-offered fines up to $150,000; victim restitution; additional fees and assessments, felony criminal record, and other penalties the court deems necessary.
Criminal charges for aggravated assault do not necessarily have to result in a criminal conviction. The prosecutor must demonstrate the alleged offender committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt before the offender can be convicted. This means if the judge or jury has any doubt, the charges must be reduced or even dismissed. As a result, it's essential to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Phoenix to create your best defense.
Defending Against Criminal Charges in Phoenix, AZ
When facing criminal charges, it's vital to understand the available defense strategies to protect your rights and potentially mitigate the charges. In aggravated assault cases in Phoenix, there are various possible defenses that skilled criminal defense attorneys can employ based on the circumstances of the case. These defenses aim to challenge the prosecution's case and establish reasonable doubt in the minds of the judge or jury. Here are some key defense strategies that may be applicable:
- Lack of intent: One possible defense we take is to argue that you didn't have the required intent to commit aggravated assault. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted intentionally or recklessly. If we can show that the act was accidental or lacked the necessary intent, it can be a viable defense;
- No protected victim: In certain cases where the charges are based on the victim's professional status, such as a law enforcement officer or teacher, it's crucial to establish that you were not aware of their specific role. Lack of knowledge of their professional status can be a valid defense, as the prosecution must demonstrate that you were aware of the victim's protected status;
- Self-defense: Arizona law allows individuals to use a reasonable amount of force to protect themselves against unlawful force by another person. Self-defense can be a viable defense strategy if it can be established that you acted in response to a genuine threat and used reasonable force under the circumstances;
- Illegal search, seizure, arrest, or violation of rights: If there were constitutional violations during the investigation or arrest, such as an illegal search or seizure, or if you were coerced into providing a confession without being properly informed of your Miranda rights, it can lead to a defense based on the violation of your rights. Any evidence obtained unlawfully can be challenged and potentially excluded from court proceedings.
You'll need to consult with an experienced Arizona aggravated assault lawyer who specializes in aggravated assault cases in Phoenix. They'll carefully assess the facts, investigate the evidence, interview witnesses, and challenge the prosecution's case to protect your interests and achieve the best possible outcome.
Schedule a Consultation with a Phoenix Aggravated Assault Attorney
If you've been charged with aggravated assault in Phoenix, or any court in Arizona, call (602) 884-8788 or contact us online to set up your strategy session with our team of aggravated assault lawyers at the Law Offices of Brandon White.
How Our Phoenix Aggravated Assault Lawyers Can Help? Block with benefits
Our Phoenix aggravated assault lawyers at the Law Offices of Brandon White are here to offer dedicated legal representation and support throughout your case. Here's how our attorneys can help:
- Strategic defense planning: We'll carefully analyze your case details, gather evidence, and develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your circumstances;
- Protection of your rights: We'll ensure that your constitutional rights are protected at every stage of the legal process, from arrest to trial;
- Negotiation skills: Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who can engage in discussions with prosecutors to seek a reduction of charges or a favorable plea agreement if appropriate;
- Courtroom advocacy: If your case goes to trial, our lawyers will vigorously advocate for your rights and interests in the courtroom and present a compelling defense on your behalf.
Regular Phoenix DUI or DWI
A regular DUI is considered driving with a BAC of 0.08-0.14% or driving with a controlled substance in your bloodstream.
- Undergoing a substance abuse screening assessment;
- Completing substance abuse treatment program;
- Serving 10 consecutive days in jail and payin g jail costs;
- An additional 9 days in jail will be suspended if the substance abuse program is completed;
- $250 fine plus any surcharge;
- $500 State Prison Construction and $500 State General Fund payments.