Being accused of assaulting another person can be a confusing experience, particularly if you did not actually cause physical harm to the other person. Unfortunately, given the way that state law defines “assault,” it is possible for someone to be charged with and convicted of this offense even if they never made physical contact with the alleged target.
Whether you were charged with misdemeanor simple assault or felony aggravated assault, securing assistance from a skilled defense attorney is a crucial first step to effectively protecting your best interests. A conviction for this offense can result in a wide range of penalties but working with an Arizona assault lawyer can give you a better chance at successfully fighting your charges. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our former prosecutors have the expertise needed to fiercely defend your rights and protect your way of life.
What Constitutes “Assault” Under Arizona Law?
According to Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1203, there are three ways to commit misdemeanor assault, each of which is classified as a different level of misdemeanor offense.
Class 3 Misdemeanor
Anyone who knowingly comes into contact with someone else intending to cause them injury, insult them, or provoke them may face class 3 misdemeanor assault charges. A conviction on these charges could lead to a maximum 30-day jail sentence, a year of probation, and up to $915 in financial penalties between fines and additional surcharges.
Class 2 Misdemeanor
Individuals who intentionally make someone else reasonably afraid of suffering imminent physical injury—regardless of whether they actually touched their alleged target—or who recklessly causes any physical injury may face class 2 misdemeanor assault charges. These charges are punishable upon conviction by up to four months of jail time, two years of probation, and $1,372.50 in fines and additional surcharges.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
A person who intentionally causes someone else to sustain any physical injury could be charged with Class 1 misdemeanor assault. A conviction could result in maximum penalties of six months in jail, three years of probation, and $4,575 in total fines plus additional surcharges.
A person convicted of any type of misdemeanor assault may also be subject to community service requirements, restitution to the people they harmed, and mandatory counseling at the discretion of the court. An experienced Arizona attorney can go into detail on a case-by-case basis about what consequences a misdemeanor assault charge might have in a specific situation.
Increased Range of Penalties for Aggravated Assault
A.R.S. §13-1204 defines eight circumstances that, if present during the commission of misdemeanor assault, elevate the offense to felony aggravated assault. Instances that aggravate charges include:
Causation of temporary but substantial disability or disfigurement
Assault of someone who is physically restrained or otherwise incapacitated
Assault committed intentionally after entering someone else’s private residence
Assault by someone over 18 years old against someone under 15 years old
Assault involving physical contact that constitutes a violation of an order of protection
Assault against any public employee, judicial officer, law enforcement officer, healthcare provider, teacher, or firefighter
Depending on the number and type of aggravating circumstances present, aggravated assault may be prosecuted as anywhere from a class 6 felony to a class 2 felony.
In the same vein, the sentencing ranges prescribed by A.R.S. §13-703 may be expanded if a convicted defendant has one or more prior convictions. In light of all this, assistance from an experienced defense lawyer is absolutely crucial for anyone facing felony assault allegations. We have successfully defended hundreds of cases and can ensure that you are fairly represented.
An Arizona Assault Attorney Can Help
Because of how many different factors can impact how prosecution for assault proceeds and ultimately concludes, effectively contesting this type of allegation is rarely a simple endeavor. Fortunately, help is available from the dedicated legal professionals at Grand Canyon Law Group. We have extensive experience helping people in your situation seek positive case resolutions and will fight tirelessly on your behalf.
A knowledgeable Arizona assault lawyer could go over your options and discuss potential defense strategies during a private consultation. Call today to schedule yours.