Someone facing an aggravated assault charge risks significant time in prison, even for a first offense. Working with an experienced defense attorney is imperative when the stakes are so high.
A Mesa aggravated assault lawyer can help you manage a criminal proceeding and present a robust defense. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we can collect and present all available evidence to achieve a favorable result and preserve your future.
An assault is intentionally putting someone in fear of imminent physical harm, causing physical harm, or touching someone intending to injure or offend them. Arizona Revised Statute §13-1204 defines an aggravated assault as an incident that causes physical harm or disfigurement to the victim or an assault when the accused is armed with a dangerous weapon.
Alternatively, an alleged victim’s identity could elevate an assault charge to aggravated assault. A prosecutor could charge a simple assault as a felony if the alleged victim is a:
The charge is considered a dangerous crime against a child if the alleged victim is 15 or younger and the accused is at least 18.
A prosecutor could bring aggravated assault charges if a drunk or reckless driver caused an accident leading to someone suffering disfigurement or severe injuries. They may also aggravate an assault charge if the incident occurred in the alleged victim’s home, the accused violated a protective order, or the alleged victim was physically restrained. Whatever the basis for bringing an aggravated assault charge, our seasoned Mesa attorneys can formulate an effective defense strategy.
The law assigns different degrees of severity to aggravated assault. The charge could range from a Class 6 non-dangerous felony to a Class 2 dangerous felony against a child, depending on the aggravating factors.
Arizona’s complex sentencing scheme governs an offender’s potential punishment. Every crime has a presumptive sentence within a range of minimum and maximum sentences. The ranges vary depending on whether the offender has prior criminal convictions.
When the crime is a non-dangerous felony, probation is available to first offenders instead of prison. A judge could find mitigating factors to reduce the sentence from the statutory minimum and aggravating factors to increase the sentence over the statutory maximum. The judge does not have this discretion when sentencing dangerous felonies.
When an assault results in disfigurement or a fracture without other serious injury, the crime is a Class 4 non-dangerous felony. The possible sentence for a first offender ranges from probation to prison for three years and nine months.
An aggravated assault that causes a severe injury is a Class 3 dangerous felony. Probation is not possible for first offenders, and if the judge finds aggravating circumstances, they could sentence a first offender to up to 15 years in prison. The presumptive prison sentence is seven years and six months with a minimum sentence of five years. For someone with prior convictions, the sentence may be much longer.
When an alleged assault involves a weapon, the charge is a dangerous felony that subjects an accused to harsher punishment. Knives and guns are obviously dangerous weapons, but a prosecutor could bring an aggravated assault charge if the accused had a sharp object, caustic substance, or anything heavy that they could use to threaten someone. A car could be considered a dangerous weapon in some circumstances.
Aggravated assault with a dangerous instrument is a Class 3 dangerous felony, and a first offender faces a presumed sentence of seven and a half years in prison. The range of possible prison time extends from five to 15 years. When the offender has one prior conviction, longer prison sentences apply.
When the crime would be a misdemeanor assault except that the alleged victim is a public servant, a prosecutor could charge a Class 6 felony. A first offender could get probation only or a prison sentence of up to two years with aggravating circumstances.
When an offender is convicted of aggravated assault against a police officer while armed or causes serious injury to the officer, the crime is a Class 2 dangerous felony. The presumptive sentence is the minimum sentence in such cases, so a first offender would be sentenced to at least ten years and six months in prison. Someone with two priors would receive a minimum sentence of 15 years, nine months; the sentence for an offender with more than two prior convictions would be at least 28 years in prison.
When the alleged victim is a child, an aggravated assault is a Class 2 Dangerous Crime Against a Child (DCAC), which carries enhanced penalties. Our Mesa aggravated assault attorneys can explain how the alleged victim’s age might affect a prison sentence in a specific case.
A conviction for aggravated assault could lead to substantial time in prison and permanently affect the course of your life. You risk your freedom if you do not hire a seasoned defense attorney.
A Mesa aggravated assault lawyer at our firm will put their knowledge and experience to work for you. Speak to a skilled legal professional today by calling Grand Canyon Law Group. We believe you have a way of life worth saving.