Criminal assault may qualify as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances under which it occurs. The identity, state of mind, and tactics of the person accused, the identity of the person allegedly assaulted, and many other issues determine the class and degree of an assault charge. Other alleged offenses committed or attempted concurrently may also shape the charge and the potential penalty.
If you face an assault charge, you could mitigate the burden that a legal entanglement imposes on you and others in your life by consulting with a Mesa assault lawyer about your options. Depending on the circumstances and whether you have a prior criminal record, you could seek a dismissal, reduced charge, or alternative penalty with the help of an attorney who not only has experience defending accused individuals, but prosecuting them as well.
Assault charges can also be aggressively defended under circumstance of self-defense or defense of others. Our attorneys have argued and brought to trial many of these types of cases.
In Arizona, the crime of assault constitutes a misdemeanor under some circumstances, the level of which varies according to the circumstances. The Arizona Criminal Code describes three ways if committing ordinary assault, which include:
Even fairly serious assaults are considered misdemeanors, unless one of the facts or circumstances below apply.
These acts could lead to an aggravated assault (felony) charge if they cause serious injury to another, involve a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, include force that causes serious physical injury, take place after the accused enters another’s home, or occur under other aggravating conditions. Someone wondering how they might get an assault charge reduced or even dismissed could consult with a local assault lawyer to discuss strategic alternatives.
One of the important enhancements, or “aggravators” or “tags” that can be placed on Aggravated Assault is when the case is charged as a “Dangerous offense”. This happens when the assault is accused of being committed with a firearm or other dangerous instrument of deadly weapon.
This enhancement is particularly important to consider and address, because it makes it a mandatory and elevated prison sentence if the defendant is convicted at trial.
Grand Canyon Law Group attorneys have extensive experience in these cases. They often arise in situations in which a person brandishes a firearm or points a gun in response to a threat. Or to defend themselves or other. We are strong believers in the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. And aggressively fight the State when they file and pursue charges simply because they feel the use of force was not “reasonable” under the circumstances.
An assault that takes place against a member of a particular class of people may constitute aggravated assault. The charge may increase if the person accused violates a protective order or if someone 18 years of age or older has allegedly assaulted someone under the age of 15. A charge may increase from simple to aggravated assault if the alleged offense takes place against a peace officer, constable, EMT, paramedic, firefighter, fire investigator, fire inspector, school employee, health care practitioner, prosecutor, code enforcement officer, public defender, or judicial officer.
The identity of the accused or attendant actions, such as choking or using a simulated weapon, may also raise an assault charge to aggravated assault. Aggravated assault constitutes a felony of class two, three, four, five, or six, depending on the circumstances. Someone facing such a charge could contact an attorney to discuss potential means of obtaining a reduced charge or penalty.
Whether or not an assault took place, a skilled defense attorney will provide the best chance at a positive outcome. The strategies will depend on the facts and evidence of the case.
Avoid waiting too long before considering the legal options available to you. Consult with a Mesa assault lawyer about your case and your priorities. An informed response to a criminal charge can have a critical effect on the outcome of the case.