Aggravated assault is a charge prosecutors use for many different situations that involve harming or threatening to harm someone. You could be charged with aggravated assault even when the alleged victim did not suffer significant harm.
This type of assault charge is a felony, and depending on the circumstances, you could face substantial prison time if you are convicted. You stand the best chance of defeating the charges and achieving a favorable result if you work with a Citrus Park aggravated assault lawyer.
As the name implies, an aggravated assault happens when an assault occurs, and other aggravating factors are present. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1204, there are multiple circumstances that transform an ordinary simple assault into an aggravated assault.
The severity of the alleged victim’s injuries can raise an assault charge to aggravated assault. Serious injuries merit an aggravated assault charge, but a prosecutor could bring the felony charge if the person suffered lesser injuries like a fracture, disfigurement, or a temporary disruption in body function. Possessing a weapon, dangerous instrument, or simulated weapon when committing an assault is aggravated assault.
The charge is “aggravated” if someone commits an assault on an intimate partner or family member who has an order of protection against the assailant. Any assault on a law enforcement officer, public servant, or healthcare worker is also an aggravated assault.
Sentencing for felonies in Arizona depends on a complicated scheme that considers the severity of the crime and the offender’s criminal history. The sentencing guidelines set out a range of prison time within each felony category and a presumptive sentence that typically falls near the middle of the range.
When the conviction is a first offense, the judge may consider mitigating factors to reduce the minimum sentence the offender must serve. In many cases, a first offender could be sentenced to probation rather than prison. Citrus Park aggravated assault attorneys always strive to secure a sentence that avoids prison whenever possible.
When an offender has prior convictions, probation is not a substitute for prison time. The judge cannot sentence the offender to less than the minimum time set forth in the sentencing guidelines. If the crime is a dangerous felony or a crime against a child, more severe sentences apply.
An aggravated assault is always a felony, but the severity of the felony varies with the circumstances of the crime.
A Class 6 felony is the least severe felony category. This charge might apply if the alleged victim is a public servant who was unharmed in the incident, or when the alleged victim was restrained. Our attorneys will work to convince a prosecutor to drop a Class 6 felony charge to a misdemeanor to avoid the harsh consequences of a felony conviction.
Taking a weapon other than a firearm from a police officer, or committing an assault while in jail or prison, could be a Class 5 felony. A prison sentence could be as long as two years for a first offender, and up to five years and nine months for someone with two or more prior convictions.
An assault that caused injuries like fractures or scarring, or temporary loss of a bodily function, could be charged as a Class 4 felony. Choking or attempting to strangle someone and domestic violence assaults are Class 4 felonies. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is two and a half years; for someone with two or more prior convictions, it is ten years.
Most aggravated assaults are Class 3 felonies and they include assaults that result in serious injuries, and assaults using a weapon or dangerous instrument. Assaults against law enforcement personnel that result in relatively minor injuries are also Class 3 felonies. The presumptive sentence for a first offender is three years and six months. When the offender has one prior conviction the presumptive sentence is six and a half years, and with two or more convictions the presumptive sentence is 11 years and three months, before mitigating or aggravating factors.
When someone over 18 commits an assault against a child under 15, the crime is a Class 2 crime against a child and carries enhanced penalties. Assaults against law enforcement officers and prosecutors are often Class 2 dangerous felonies. The presumptive sentence for a Class 2 dangerous felony against an adult is 10 and a half years for a first offense, 15 years and nine months with one prior conviction, and 28 years with multiple prior convictions.
Do not attempt to handle an aggravated assault charge without the services of a seasoned defense attorney. The stakes are too high to take any chances.
Our Citrus Park aggravated assault lawyers have years of experience representing people like you facing serious felony charges. Call today to discuss your situation with Grand Canyon Law Group.