Assault is a criminal charge that can occur in multiple ways, the most obvious of which is by causing injury to another person. However, many people are surprised to hear that you can be charged and convicted of assault without causing any injury, and even without touching another person. For instance, you can be charged and convicted of assault for placing someone in fear of injury, or by physically touching another person with intent to injure, insult, or provoke them.
These charges carry severe penalties, damage to your record and reputation, and potential jail time. It is crucial that you seek legal representation from an aggressive, knowledgeable lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group. Our former prosecutors, now dedicated defense attorneys, can answer any questions about assault cases in Mesa and fight to protect your way of life against these serious allegations.
There are three elements to the definition of assault. To be convicted on assault charges, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intentionally or recklessly did one of the following:
For the second element, “reasonable apprehension of immediate harm” means that a person is in fear of some sort of injury that may occur, and that their fear is warranted or justified under an objective standard. As to the third element, “unwanted contact” means touching with the intent to insult, injure, or provoke. For instance, a push or shove may not cause injury, but it could constitute unwanted contact with the intent to provoke.
If you are accused of assault for any of the reasons above, you will be charged with misdemeanor assault. If this assault happened under certain circumstances, you will be charged with a felony, or even a “dangerous” offense that can result in increased incarceration in prison or jail and other serious consequences.
Under Arizona law, assault and battery have been merged under the heading of “assault.” Battery is actually the physical touching of or causing injury to another person, while assault is placing that person in fear. The knowledgeable local attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can answer any further questions about the legal definitions of assault and battery and create a tailored defense for the specific charges.
The investigation could be as short as just a few minutes. For example, officers are often called to the scene of a domestic dispute or a fight where accusations of assault are made. The officers may gather information for a few minutes to determine what happened, and they will quickly make an arrest if they believe there has been an assault.
Unfortunately, these decisions are often wrong. Officers can believe the wrong witness, misunderstand the situation, or fail to contact important witnesses, leaving the accused to deal with the criminal charges and attempting to set the record straight. This can be extremely difficult and the consequences devastating if they attempt to go it alone.
Many assault investigations last longer, depending on the complexity or type of scenario. However, in any situation, it is crucial to contact a skilled assault attorney at our Mesa office, even before answering the officers’ questions.
The legal process for an assault charge is similar to most other criminal cases in Mesa. A complaint gets filed in court, after which the defendant is arraigned on those charges and has an appearance before a judge. Police reports are disclosed between the parties, and the state has an obligation to turn over those reports.
Once a defendant retains an experienced assault lawyer in the area, the attorney can begin their investigation and put in motion the defense strategy. This may involve interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence like surveillance video footage, radio calls, or officer body camera footage. There are all sorts of evidence that may exist in an assault case, and a good defense attorney will do a quality investigation into the source of the allegations and whether they can be proven.
The assault case will either be resolved through some sort of an agreement or it will go to trial. Our knowledgeable attorneys have handled countless assault cases and use our experience to answer a defendant’s questions, guide our clients through the process, and obtain the best possible outcome.
If the assault charges are misdemeanor, the process can typically last a few months, but can extend up to a year of more in rare situations. For a felony assault involving serious injury or use of a deadly weapon, the legal process can be as short as a few months but can commonly last up to a year or more.
While some cases require an expedited resolution, our goal is always in obtaining the best outcome, not the fastest. Our dedicated lawyers know how to combat the prosecution’s tactics, and we tirelessly represent our clients against assault allegations. We work to prevent a conviction or get the best results for our clients for every single client.
Too many times, the police jump the gun and arrest somebody with incorrect conclusions and insufficient basis. There are many explanations for a person’s actions, such as self-defense, that the prosecutors may not recognize.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, our hardworking lawyers will explore every possible defense and defend a person against the harsh penalties of an assault conviction. If you have been accused, contact an attorney who can answer your questions about assault cases in Mesa and give you the representation you deserve.