Assaulting a police officer or any government or school employee is always treated harshly. Unlike simple assault, which is prosecuted in most situations as a misdemeanor, assault of a police officer is always considered a felony. This charge is punishable by years of imprisonment for a first offense, even if the allegedly targeted officer did not sustain any injuries.
Anyone charged with this offense should contact a Phoenix assault on an officer lawyer right away. Although courts often side with members of law enforcement in situations like this, support from a tenacious attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group can improve your odds of achieving a favorable case result. Our former prosecutors know how to fight for you and your rights.
Arizona state law defines the assault of a police officer as a form of “aggravated assault,” which is always prosecuted as a felony. Under Arizona Revised Statute §13-1203, assault involves intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury, intentionally causing “reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury,” or knowingly making physical contact with the intent to “injure, insult, or provoke.” Under A.R.S. §13-1204, anyone who commits assault as defined under A.R.S. §13-1203 may face aggravated charges if the target was:
As our seasoned Phoenix attorneys could explain, someone may be charged with aggravated assault if they attempt to take or succeed at taking a police officer’s firearm or any other implement designed to restrain or injure another person, such as handcuffs.
For first-time offenders, assault of an officer who is executing any official duty and who does not suffer injury is a Class 5 felony. Assault of an officer performing their duties which does result in physical injury is a Class 4 felony. Any assault on an officer which results in a fracture of any part of their body or “temporary but substantial” disfigurement or impairment becomes a Class 3 felony. Assault on an officer resulting in serious physical injury or involving the use of any deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is a Class 2 felony.
The penalties upon conviction for assaulting a police officer for someone with no criminal record could vary drastically. A defendant could face a sentencing range of six months to two and a half years with a presumptive sentence of one and a half years, to between three and 12.5 years with a presumptive term of five years. Even harsher sanctions may be applicable for defendants with prior felony convictions or when a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used during the offense. When the stakes are this high, assistance from a Phoenix lawyer who handles officer assault charges is essential.
There is no single best path forward when it comes to effectively contesting aggravated assault charges, especially those based on an alleged assault of a police officer. You need a defense strategy tailored to your situation. Fortunately, help is available from experienced legal professionals who know how to fight and win on behalf of people like you.
A Phoenix assault on an officer lawyer can provide the legal guidance you need to obtain a positive case outcome. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to schedule a meeting.