Assault Attorney Serving Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, & Scottsdale
Aggravated assault is a serious charge in Arizona, and a conviction can result in significant jail time or fines. To help you understand and fight back against an aggravated assault charge, you need an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney.
What is Aggravated Assault?
Assault occurs when one person puts another in fear of harm by the threat of force or by actual force. Assault can also occur when actual harm results to a person or you simply touch someone with intent to cause them harm or injury. Assault can also occur if you do not even touch someone, as long as your actions put them in a position where they fear harm or injury. In fact, many aggravated assaults do not cause injury to the victim, but still carry mandatory prison sentences.
Aggravated assault occurs when a person knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly insults, provokes, injures or otherwise causes bodily harm to another person, and any of the following aggravating factors is involved:
- Causing serious physical injury to the victim using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument during the commission of the crime
- Using force that causes significant disfigurement, impairment of organs, or fractures
- Inflicting injury while the victim is physically restrained or impaired
- Entering a private residence with the intent to commit assault
- A person 18 years or older assaulting a person 15 years or younger
- Assault occurring as a violation of a protection order
- Assaulting an individual who is a prosecutor, peace officer, teacher, constable, healthcare practitioner, police officer, firefighter, judicial officer, park ranger, code enforcement officer, or public defender
- Knowingly controlling or attempting to control a firearm or deadly weapon used by a peace officer
- Assaulting a department of corrections employee while in custody
- Using a simulated deadly weapon to cause physical injury to another
In Arizona, aggravated assault is a violent crime that is charged as a felony. Usually, it is charged as a Class 3 felony, though it can be charged as a Class 2 felony if the victim is under the age of 15. Aggravated assault can also be charged as a Class 4 Felony if it caused significant disfigurement, impairment of organs, or fractures. Further, it can be charged as a Class 5 felony if the crime involves taking a firearm being used by a peace officer or assaulting someone while you are imprisoned. Finally, in some circumstances, aggravated assault may be charged as a Class 6 felony, particularly if an aggravated assault is committed against a person who is physically impaired.
What Can Happen if I Am Charged With Aggravated Assault in Arizona?
If you are charged with aggravated assault in Arizona, you can face penalties at both the state and federal level. As mentioned above, aggravated assault is charged as a felony, and prosecutors zealously pursue significant prison sentences. If you are found guilty, you can also face significant fines, lengthy jail time, and court-ordered restitution to the victim.
The penalties for aggravated assault depend on a number of factors. A conviction for a first offense, for example, could lead to incarceration in state prison for 5 to 15 years. The penalty for a second offense can be elevated with sentencing between 10 to 20 years, and a third conviction can lead to a prison term of 15 to 25 years. A conviction can also lead to other penalties that the court deems necessary. In addition, it will result in a permanent felony criminal record which will have long-lasting consequences.
How Do You Defend Against an Aggravated Assault Charge?
To defend yourself against an aggravated assault charge in Arizona, it is imperative that you have an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney working to defend you. The potential consequences of a conviction are significant and can impact you for the rest of your life.
Blischak Law has extensive litigation experience and is skilled at jury communication, and will work to create a strategy that will convince the jury of your innocence. In order to gain a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable douobt that you acted knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly, in which case we may be able to show that you did not intend to cause harm to the victim.
In addition, a successful prosecution often depends upon the testimony of eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses are often not very reliable, however, meaning that many cases can be defended against on the basis of mistaken identity. Additionally, if you did not provoke the attack and were acting to defend yourself, you may have a successful self-defense argument. You need an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney to successfully raise these defenses.
What Should You Do if You Are Charged With Aggravated Assault?
If you have been charged with aggravated assault in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, or elsewhere in Arizona, you should immediately contact Blischak Law. We will diligently work to ascertain all the facts of your case, including reviewing the police report and interviewing all witnesses. Using this information, we will craft a custom defense that highlights the strengths of your case. We have have extensive experience defending against all kinds of aggravated assault charges and will work with you to develop a legal strategy that defends you to the fullest extent. Call our office today or complete the contact form on our website to set up a consultation.