Assault is a very serious criminal act that threatens violence or inflicts violence towards another person. Assault can be categorized as physical, verbal, or sexual. If you have been charged with physical assault, sexual assault, or verbal assault, consult with a highly experienced Phoenix assault attorney to protect your rights and overcome a possible criminal conviction.
Types of Assault Charges
Assault is an umbrella term. It has many different forms and related penalties according to Arizona laws. There are two main categories of of assault in Arizona, simple assault and aggravated assault. Aggravated assaults are felonies whereas simple assaults are misdemeanors. What makes an assault “aggravated” is the presence of some aggravating circumstance, such as the use of a weapon, serious injury to the victim, the age of the victim, or the victim being a police officer, just to name a few. The difference between each type can impact the severity of the crime and the potential penalties involved.
Simple assault is a class 1 misdemeanor. It can be downgraded to class 2 or 3 depending on intent, recklessness, and whether injuries were caused. Simple assault does not have an aggravating factor, such as a weapon. However, if the act of assault has an aggravating factor, it could meet AZ’s definition of the escalated charge of aggravated assault.
Aggravating factors include weapons, deadly weapons, and the intent to commit a crime. Aggravated assault is penalized more harshly than simple assaults. If you’ve been charged with assault and need to build a criminal defense, speak with a skillful Phoenix assault lawyer about your case right away.
Simple Assault Penalties
The penalties for simple assault may vary depending on the degree of the charge. Many misdemeanor assault charges are penalized with fines and probation. If you’re unsure what penalties you may face, you should talk with an experienced Phoenix assault lawyer right now.
You could face additional consequences if the courts classify the assault as domestic violence. If you’re been accused of causing physical harm to someone else, sex crimes, or misdemeanor assaults in Phoenix AZ, find an adept attorney with experience combating assault conviction, misdemeanor assault, and other assault-related crimes.
Aggravated assault is also referred to as felony assault. Aggravated assault is taken more seriously than simple assault because the introduction of an aggravating factor makes things more dangerous or potentially deadly. You could face aggravated assault charges if your case involves the use of a weapon or dangerous instrument or if the alleged victim suffered life-changing personal injuries. As covered in Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-1204, assault is classified as “aggravated assault” when an assault is committed while one the following conditions are met:
- An adult assaults a minor under 15 years of age
- A deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used to commit the offense
- A person enters a private home to commit assault
- A police officer, firefighter, or other officer is assaulted
- A victim suffers a serious physical injury that comes with the risk of death
- A victim is bound or restrained
- A victim suffers substantial disfigurement due to their injuries
- A victim suffers permanent scarring or disfigurement resulting in the loss of function in an organ or limb.
If you’re in Maricopa County and have been falsely accused of attacking someone with a deadly weapon, then you need a law firm that specializes in these types of cases. A gun is an example of a lethal weapon, even if it is not loaded. Speaking with a legal professional that knows your rights in Phoenix, AZ, and is prepared to take your criminal defense to trial, can help you overcome your misdemeanor assault charges.
Aggravated Assault Penalties
The age and identity of the victim, measures used to commit the crime, injuries sustained, and your intent will determine if you face an aggravated assault charge in Arizona or a misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault is a felony crime in Arizona, and if the offense qualifies as what is known as a “Dangerous Nature” offense, it can come with major penalties which can include :
- Class 2. Prison sentences range from 7 to 21 years, with a presumptive term of 10.5 years.
- Class 3. Prison term up to 15 years, with a presumptive term of 7.5 years.
- Class 4. Prison term of 4 to 8 years, with a presumptive term of 6 years.
- Class 5. Prison term of 2 to 4 years, with a presumptive term of 3 years.
- Class 6. Prison term of 18 months to 3 years, with a presumptive term of 27 months.
In addition to the incarceration, you could also face fines of up to $150,000, probation, community service, and restitution. A judge will consider the nature of the crime, the criminal defense, the defendant’s attitude, the injuries of the victim, the defendant’s prior criminal history, and other factors before handing out a sentence.
Under Arizona Law Statutes Section 13-1201, a person commits endangerment by recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent physical injury or death.
Reckless endangerment occurs when someone deliberately puts another person at risk of serious harm. Endangerment occurs when the offender knows the risks or their actions but disregards them, and those actions lead to unwanted physical contact or serious injury.
The penalties for reckless endangerment can range according to the classification of the charge. Endangerment that involves substantial risk of imminent death is classified as a class six felony conviction. However, endangerment, in general, is considered a class one misdemeanor.
Threatening or Intimidating
You do not have to physically touch someone to face a criminal assault charge in Arizona. As stated in Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-1202, a person is guilty of threatening or intimidating by word or conduct if they:
- Cause physical injury to another person
- Cause serious damage to another person’s property
- Act in reckless disregard of causing serious public inconvenience
- Cause physical injury to another person or damage to another person’s property while participating in a criminal street gang, criminal syndicate, or racketeering enterprise.
Threatening or Intimidating Penalties
A threatening and intimidating misdemeanor conviction can come with six months in jail, three years of probation, and up to $3,600 in fines. Threatening or intimidating could be a felony charge when it involves street gangs and can escalate to a Class 3 felony if used for a gang initiation.
How A Phoenix Assault Attorney Can Assist You
If you’ve suffered injuries in an assault and battery, been wrongfully accused of an assault-related crime, violent crimes, or just looking to clear your name and defend your criminal case, contact Hernandez & Hamilton, PC.
Assault is a very serious charge. That’s why it is essential to hire legal representation because it can make a considerable difference in how your case concludes. Working with an experienced assault defense attorney in Phoenix from the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, PC means you will have someone who can professionally represent you and look out for your best interests at all times. Give us a call today.