Among the most common criminal charges in Arizona are those alleging assault. Despite their commonality in criminal courts, many people do not fully understand the state’s assault laws. For instance, you could face criminal charges even if you do not hit another person.
An assault charge should always be met with a vigorous defense from a skilled attorney, as convictions can rise to the felony level under certain circumstances. Punishments here involve mandatory prison sentences. A New River assault lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can help defend your freedom and rights throughout the legal process.
Most people understand an assault as hurting another person. While this is certainly true, the state’s assault law is far more expansive. Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1203 provides three definitions of assault:
To obtain an assault conviction, prosecutors need to show a defendant’s frame of mind. In other words, they must show that a defendant intended to cause harm or knew their actions might be expected to cause harm.
Under the state’s definition of assault, a person could face charges for threatening another person with bodily injury or attempting to harm them. For instance, a person could be accused of assault for allegedly threatening someone else. In another example, they could face charges for swinging a bat at another person, even if they miss. A New River attorney can provide more information on the elements of assault under state law.
The severity of an assault conviction depends on several factors, including the alleged victim, weapon use, and degree of harm. A simple assault with no aggravating factors would be a misdemeanor if no contact occurred.
Under AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1204, aggravated assault charges may apply for incidents involving a deadly weapon or resulting in serious bodily injury. These allegations are always at least class 6 felony crimes and may be upgraded to class 2 felonies in extreme examples.
In general, an assault is a more serious offense if the alleged victim is a:
Convictions for assault range from misdemeanors to severe felonies. Courts can generally punish misdemeanors with a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a fine.
On the other hand, felonies carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence and heavy fines. For example, a class 6 felony with mitigating circumstances will still result in a jail sentence of four months after a first conviction. Talking with a skilled assault lawyer at our firm could help a defendant better understand the possible consequences of a conviction.
Any allegation of an assault is a matter that requires your full attention. Even if you never touched or injured anyone, you could still face criminal consequences upon conviction. Aggravating factors can result in lengthy prison sentences and a felony on your permanent record.
A New River assault lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group knows how to fight these charges the right way. Effective legal representation will start from the initial arraignment and continue all the way through trial.
Whether your goal is to come to a fair plea deal to avoid harsh sentencing or to fight the charges at trial, we stand ready to defend you. Contact our firm today so we can get to work protecting your rights.