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Mesa Vehicular Aggravated Assault Lawyer

Violent actions such as punching or stabbing someone are easy to identify as aggravated assault. However, this criminal charge does not always entail person-to-person contact or even an intent to harm. One can be charged with aggravated assault for driving-related offenses as well.

If you have been arrested for aggravated assault in a motor vehicle incident, you need a persistent criminal defense attorney on your side. To protect your rights and ensure a strong defense in court, contact a Mesa vehicular aggravated assault lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group today.

What is Vehicular Aggravated Assault?

Arizona law first sets the standard for assault and builds on that definition to form the charge of aggravated assault. Under Revised Statutes §13-1203, an assault occurs when someone purposefully or recklessly causes physical injury to another person, elicits fear of harm, or touches someone intending to injure, insult, or provoke them. The bar is raised to aggravated assault under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1204 when serious physical injury is inflicted. In the case of vehicular aggravated assault, this escalation could occur if:

  • A deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, including a vehicle, is used in the commission of the assault
  • Force is used, causing temporary but significant disfigurement, bone fractures, or harm to any of the body’s organs
  • The victim is restrained before being hit by the auto
  • The perpetrator is 18 or older and the victim is younger than 15
  • The victim has a valid restraining order against the perpetrator

Penalties for Felony Driving Offenses in Mesa

Vehicular aggravated assault is considered a Class 3 felony in Arizona. Conviction for this charge carries a prison term of five to fifteen years. Additionally, second-time offenders could face incarceration of between ten and twenty years.

Driving Accidents vs. Aggravated Assault in Mesa

Vehicular accidents with injuries occur every day in Mesa. Criminal charges are only filed if the prosecutor can prove the mens rea—a legal term in Latin meaning “guilty mind”—of the person at fault. Generally, for aggravated assault charges to apply, an injurious traffic incident must be an intentional act rather than one born of negligence.

However, Arizona law is nuanced with regards to driving-related crimes. For instance, serious physical injury must be demonstrated to charge someone with vehicular aggravated assault. Arizona Revised Statutes §13-105 (39) defines serious bodily injury as one that:

  • Could reasonably lead to death
  • Causes permanent disfigurement
  • Leads to serious health issues
  • Causes permanent or long-lasting loss of the use of limbs or any organ

Under Section 13-1204 of the Code, only temporary disfigurement need be shown for a charge of aggravated assault if force was used. Because the laws regarding vehicular aggravated assault are so complex, those facing these charges should contact the knowledgeable local attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group to explain and defend their rights.

Defending Against Vehicular Aggravated Assault Charges

Vehicular aggravated assault is a criminal offense based on the premise that someone intended to harm another person using a vehicle as the weapon. To counteract this accusation in court, a skillful Mesa defense attorney could identify various arguments to refute a prosecutor’s case by asserting that:

  • The perpetrator did not intend to harm the victim
  • The resulting harm was not serious physical injury under Arizona law, which could lessen the charges to vehicular assault
  • The eyewitness testimony is contradictory
  • Police violated the rights of the accused by not providing legal counsel when requested

An experienced defense lawyer might also cite an intervening cause, or an event that occurred before the defendant’s alleged vehicular assault and was the actual cause of any resulting injuries. One example of when this argument could be useful is if an out-of-control truck slammed into the injured party before the defendant did. Regardless of the specific circumstances of the case, our defense attorneys can work tirelessly to protect the rights of those accused of these heightened driving-related crimes in Mesa.

Speak with a Mesa Vehicular Aggravated Assault Attorney Today

Vehicular aggravated assault is a serious accusation that could lead to imprisonment. If you have been charged of this crime, you need to secure an advocate to defend you in court immediately.

The dedicated lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Firm are experienced in Mesa vehicular aggravated assault cases and are here to discuss your situation. Do not delay when your freedom is at stake. Call to schedule your initial consultation today.

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