Assault charges in Arizona can arise from many different situations. Regardless of the nature of your case, assault is a very serious criminal offense. The consequences of assault charges can have an immense impact on your life. Assaults are classified according to severity. Class 1 to Class 3 are misdemeanors, while aggravated assault is a felony. If you or a loved one are facing any type of assault charge in Arizona, contact a Phoenix assault attorney at Stone Rose Law today to review your case and learn how to best defend your rights. Consultations by phone, video, or in-person are now available. Call our law office at (480) 498-8998 now.
Misdemeanor assault is defined by A.R.S. § 13-1203(A) (1-3). A person commits assault in Arizona by:
The mental states of intentionally and knowingly are self-explanatory. However, the mental state of “recklessly” requires some level of explanation. According to A.R.S. § 13-105(10)(c), a person is reckless if they engage in conduct while consciously disregarding the substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm created by their conduct. If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor assault charges in Arizona, speak with a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer experienced in assault charges as soon as possible.
A hypothetical will illustrate reckless conduct in the context of assault. Assume that Person A, for no good reason, shoves Person B, who is elderly and has known balance problems, and causes them to fall and scrape their knee. In this situation, Person A may not have intended to cause Person B to suffer injury. Similarly, Person A did not know with certainty that his act of pushing Person B would result in injury. However, Person A would have been aware of the substantial and unjustifiable risk that Person B would fall and become injured when pushed yet disregarded that risk and pushed Person B anyway. In this scenario, Person A was reckless when he pushed Person B, and that reckless act caused Person B to sustain an injury. Thus, Person A would be guilty of Assaulting Person B according to A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(1), a class 1 misdemeanor.
Assault under A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(2) involves one person intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. Note that the State does not have to prove that the defendant touched the victim in order to obtain a conviction for this subsection. The easiest way to describe this version of Assault is to recall the “Two for Flinching” game that children play whereby one child raises his hand as if he is going to hit another child, hoping that it will cause the other child to flinch. By raising his hand at the second child in an effort to trick him into thinking he is about to be hit, the first child is intentionally placing the second child in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. This is assault under A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(2), which is a class 2 misdemeanor.
Assault according to A.R.S. § 13-1203(A)(3) involves one person knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke them. An example of this type of Assault might involve one guy shoving another guy in an argument in the hope of provoking a fistfight. In this scenario, the guy who does the shoving is doing so not to hurt the other guy, but to provoke him into escalating the conflict. This is an example of Assault according to A.R.S. § 1203(A)(3), which is a class 3 misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault, otherwise known as felonious assault, is defined by A.R.S. § 13-1204, and occurs whenever a person commits assault pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1203 and an aggravating circumstance listed in A.R.S. § 13-1204 is present. Some of the more common aggravating circumstances listed in A.R.S. § 13-1204 arise when:
Aggravated assault is always a felony, but the level of felony depends on the applicable aggravating circumstance. Regardless of the level of felony involved, a defendant charged with aggravated assault faces serious consequences including incarceration in prison or jail, probation, fines and restitution. If you have been investigated for, arrested for, or charged with aggravated assault you need the immediate help of an experienced Phoenix assault attorney.
The days when two men who disagreed could go outside and settle a dispute like gentlemen are over. In this day and age, both men would likely be charged with assault. If those men were convicted, they could face jail, probation, and counseling requirements, to say nothing of having a violent criminal conviction on their record. If you have been investigated for, arrested for, or charged with assault, you need an experienced assault attorney in Phoenix to protect your freedom, rights, and reputation. Call Stone Rose Law now at (480) 498-8998 or submit an online request for a free consultation.