Mesa Assault on an Officer Lawyer

An arrest is a frightening event, and when the charges include assault on a police officer, that fear is heightened. You might feel that everyone in the criminal justice system will rally around the officer, and the odds of a fair result are stacked against you.

A seasoned criminal attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can protect you from infringement of your rights and ensure your case is treated like any other. Contact a Mesa assault on an officer lawyer when you are arrested.

Aggravated Assault Charges Result When the Alleged Victim is an Officer

Arizona Revised Statute §13-1204(A)(8) makes any alleged assault on an officer an aggravated charge. Even a relatively minor incident that would be a misdemeanor if the alleged victim were not an officer is considered a dangerous felony.

The definition of officer is broad and does not cover only members of the police force. An assault on any of the following public servants could count as an assault on an officer:

  • Prison guard
  • Traffic control agent
  • Code enforcement officer
  • Firefighter
  • Paramedic
  • Military police officer
  • Park ranger

Assaulting a prosecutor also could result in aggravated assault charges.

All criminal proceedings require a prosecutor to prove the elements of the charge. When the charge is for assault on an officer, the prosecutor must establish that an assault happened and that the accused knew or had reason to know the alleged victim was an officer. Our seasoned attorneys in Mesa can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence for any element of the assault on an officer charge.

Circumstances Determine the Severity of the Charge

A prosecutor will charge any alleged assault on an officer as felony aggravated assault. However, the specifics determine the severity of the charge, ranging from a Class 6 felony, the least serious felony category, to a Class 2 dangerous felony.

Below are common examples of the way prosecutors charge alleged assaults on officers. The examples of sentences are based on Arizona’s sentencing guidelines; a lawyer at our firm can explain the likely sentence in a specific assault on an officer case.

Class 6 Felony

When the crime would be a misdemeanor if the alleged victim were not an officer, the prosecutor could charge a Class 6 felony. In the best-case scenario, a first offender could receive probation for up to five years and no time in prison. In the worst-case scenario, the penalty could be up to two years in prison for a first offender, with a potential sentence of five years and nine months for someone with two or more convictions.

Class 3 Felony

If an alleged assault involved trying to disarm an officer or take their taser or gun, a prosecutor might charge a Class 3 dangerous felony. Potential penalties for a first offender include a presumptive sentence of 7.5 years in prison. When an offender has one prior conviction, their sentence could be 11 years and three months; if they have two or more convictions, an offender’s sentence could be 20 years.

Class 2 Felony

If the accused allegedly used a weapon or dangerous instrument in the attack, or if the officer sustained a serious injury, the prosecutor would likely bring a Class 2 dangerous felony charge. The judge must use the statutory presumptive sentence as the minimum sentence in such cases.

If the assault was a first offense, the minimum sentence would be ten years and six months. Offenders with one prior conviction face at least 15 years and nine months, and an offender with two or more prior convictions face a minimum of 28 years in prison.

Defending Charges for Assaulting an Officer

Our skilled attorneys in Mesa analyze the prosecutor’s evidence and form a tailored defense strategy. When the charge is assaulting an officer, certain defenses could be effective.

For example, a prosecutor must prove an accused intentionally assaulted someone they know is an officer. Asserting that the alleged assault was accidental or that the accused had no reason to believe the person was an officer could be effective.

Police violations of an accused’s civil rights are potentially effective defenses in any criminal case, and they are often applicable when defending an assault on an officer charge. If an accused could show they acted in self-defense in response to officer-initiated violence without provocation or that the arrest was unjustified, our lawyers can work to defeat the charge. Police body camera footage and video from onlookers often support the defense in these cases.

Contact a Mesa Attorney to Defend an Assault on an Officer Charge

Assaulting an officer is a serious felony charge with potentially severe consequences. With your freedom at stake, you need assistance from a seasoned defense attorney.

A Mesa assault on an officer lawyer will explore every avenue to defeat the charge. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to discuss your situation and learn your legal options for protecting your future.

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