Arizona assault laws include physical violence and a range of other offenses. This broad coverage is coupled with aggressive prosecution and harsh penalties for those convicted of the crime.
If you have been accused of or charged with assault in Arizona, protect your rights by having an experienced defense attorney on your side. In Phoenix and surrounding cities, Arizonans trust the attorneys at Goldman Law, LLC. Our criminal defense lawyer Howard Dworman has dismissed numerous criminal cases and obtained Not Guilty verdicts for clients.
See how we can fight the assault charges against you. Call Goldman Law, LLC today at (602) 698-5520.
What Qualifies As Assault In Arizona?
We commonly think of physical injury when talking about assault, but under this legal definition, injury is not actually necessary in order for someone to be charged with assault.
Under the Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13, Chapter 12, “assault” is any of the following:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person
- Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury
- Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke such person.
Note that the definition includes “placing another person in reasonable apprehension of injury,” as well as “touching another person with the intent to provoke.” This means that mere threats of violence could lead to an assault charge.
With this broad definition, assault in Arizona can range from simple assault (misdemeanor) to aggravated assault (felony). The punishments vary accordingly, but they typically include jail time, fines, probation, and counseling.
Arizona Penalties For Simple Assault
Simple assault refers to inflicting or threatening violence on a person, without aggravating factors like weapons or serious injuries. Common examples are fistfights, offensive touching or shoving, threatening language, and verbal altercations.
Simple assault is often a misdemeanor, with penalties varying according to the level of severity:
- Class 3 Misdemeanor Assault
Touching with the intent to injure or provoke is categorized as a Class 3 Misdemeanor, the lowest level of misdemeanor in Arizona. It is punishable with up to 30 days in jail, $500 in fines, and/or 12 months of probation.
- Class 2 Misdemeanor Assault
In this higher category, the victim still does not have to be injured but must have felt “reasonable apprehension of imminent injury.” Conviction of this type of assault can lead to a maximum of four months in jail, $750 in fines, and/or 24 months of probation.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor Assault
This simple assault involves a discernible injury on the victim. Being convicted of this crime may result in up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and 36 months of probation.
Remember that even a low-level misdemeanor conviction can still have a far-reaching impact on one’s life. The conviction will go into permanent record, damaging one’s prospects in employment, purchasing a house, social relationships, and more. An assault conviction also affects one’s standing in a Family Law case such as divorce or child custody.
Arizona Penalties For Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault, also known as battery, is an act of violence against a person, with an aggravating circumstance involved. Some of these aggravating circumstances are:
- The victim suffered serious, life-altering injuries from the violence.
- The assailant used a dangerous weapon or instrument.
- The assailant entered the victim’s home to commit the assault.
- The victim was under 15 years of age.
- The assailant knew that the victim was a teacher, doctor, teacher, judicial officer, law enforcer, or firefighter.
Aggravated assault is a felony in Arizona, with the class depending on the circumstances around the offense. It is often charged as a Class 3 Felony, punishable with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15 years in prison. Charges are sometimes elevated to a Class 2 Felony, especially if the victim was under 15 years old or an officer of the law. Class 2 Felony Assault may be sentenced with a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 21 years in prison.
On top of that, a felony conviction in Arizona can also result in up to $150,000 in fines, plus restitution (payment to the victim), mandatory probation, community service, and lost civil rights such as the right to vote and to bear arms.
An Arizona Defense Lawyer Can Help With Your Assault Case
In an assault case, the state prosecutor has the burden to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Arizona prosecutors are aggressive, that’s why it is crucial for you to have legal protection immediately.
Consult with a defense attorney as soon as you learn of any assault allegation against you – even if you believe you never harmed anyone.
Here at Goldman Law, our legal service covers every aspect of your case to help you prevent the ruinous impact of an assault conviction.
- Build the best defense strategies against your assault charge – from insufficient evidence and lack of intent, to courtroom technicalities and affirmative defenses (e.g. self-defense)
- Help you avoid costly mistakes such as contacting the victim, brandishing a weapon, making statements, admitting to things, violating existing orders, and signing away your rights.
- Help you respond to or challenge protective orders, release orders, and injunctions, if any
- Alleviating the impact of the arrest and the potential penalties
- Ensuring that your rights are upheld throughout your case.
Contact Goldman Law, LLC
The earlier you consult with our assault defense attorney, the sooner we can start building your defense to protect you.
Call us at (602) 698-5520 or fill out our contact form. We serve clients in Phoenix and all throughout Arizona.