If you have been charged with assault in Arizona, you may be confused about not only the specifics of the charge, but also about the possible penalties you face. Your confusion is understandable, since the assault laws in Arizona are not always easy to understand.
Assault in Arizona is generally divided into 2 main categories: (1) Misdemeanor Assault; and (2) Aggravated Assault. Each category has several subsections further defining the nature of the offense, as well as the penalties associated with each.
- Misdemeanor Assault. This classification of assault, also called “simple assault,” requires that you (a) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause any physical injury to another person, (b) intentionally put another in “reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury,” or (c) knowingly touch another person with the specific intent of injuring, provoking or insulting such person. Conviction for simple assault may be either a Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanor, with punishment ranging from 30 days to 6 months in jail, and fines from $500 to $2,500.
- Aggravated Assault. This consists of any misdemeanor assault coupled with one of many additional factors, including causing serious physical injury, use of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, assault committed while the victim is restrained, where the victim is a minor, violation of a restraining order, where the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, teacher (on school grounds), health care practitioner (while engaged in professional duties), etc. This list goes on. The most important thing to know about aggravated assault is that it is a felony in Arizona, and jail time can run up to 20 years.
If you have been charged with assault in the Greater Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, don’t allow the criminal justice system to play havoc with your life. Contact an experienced Phoenix Assault Attorney and former prosecutor to defend you, explain the confusing laws in language you can understand, and insure your best chance of dismissal or reduced charges.