According to rankings compiled by the website 24/7 Wall St., Arizona is the 10th most violent state in America, with 455.3 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, compared to the nationwide average of 366.7 per 100,000. In addition, Phoenix-area police reported a 25.3% increase in aggravated assaults in 2020 compared to 2019.
Aggravated assault is a felony, while simple assault is generally charged as a misdemeanor. Many people don’t realize that merely physically threatening someone or even simply pushing a finger into another’s chest with the requisite intent can be charged as assault in Arizona. When blood is spilled, bones are broken, and/or stiches are needed, such usually rises to the level of a felony, or aggravated assault.
If you’ve been charged with any type of assault in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, or nearby in Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, or Mesa, contact William Morris at The Law Office of William L. Morris, P.L.L.C. I will investigate your charge(s) and work with you to build a defensive strategy aimed at obtaining a favorable resolution and/or outcome; Be it a plea to a lesser offense, or the dismissal of the charge(s), or proceeding to trial on the merits of the prosecution’s case, or lack thereof!
ASSAULT IN ARIZONA
Simple misdemeanor assault — as opposed to felony aggravated assault — is defined under ARS 13-1203 as:
- 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 them.
Each category represents a separate crime. The first type is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, the second a Class 2 misdemeanor, and the third a Class 3 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Class 2 is punishable up to four months in jail and up to $750 in fines, and a Class 3 is punishable up to 30 days in jail and a $500 maximum fine.
The differences of being charged with Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 comes down to legal language, interpretation and the alleged facts of each case.
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Felony aggravated assault, on the other hand, is defined under A.R.S. 13-1204, it incorporates A.R.S. 13-1203 (misdemeanor assault statute) and contains eight separate additional factual circumstances that can result in felony aggravated assault charge(s) as opposed to just three for misdemeanor assault.
Aggravated assault can be charged under the following circumstances:
- A serious physical injury results
- A “deadly weapon” or “dangerous instrument” is used
- Temporary but substantial disfigurement results, a body part is fractured, or the victim suffers the loss or impairment of a body part of organ
- The assault takes place while the victim is bound or otherwise physically restrained
- The perpetrator enters a private residence to commit the assault
- Someone 18 years of age or older commits the assault on someone under 15 years of age
- The assault occurs when a protective order is already in place
- The assault is on a public official, such as a police officer, firefighter, emergency responder, teacher, public defender, judge, or park ranger
For example, if you throw a beer bottle at someone (“dangerous instrument”), that could be, and in all likelihood will be, charged as felony aggravated assault charge(s). Likewise, if a poke in the chest is just the start of an altercation and you go on to pummel the other person, without any legal justification (I.e., self-defense, defense of others, etc.), that also could be charged as felony aggravated assault.
Depending on the circumstances, a felony aggravated assault can be charged as either a Class 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felony, or any combination(s) thereof, depending on the facts alleged to have occurred. Felony aggravated assault charges can carry mandatory prison time, even if you have no criminal history of any kind whatsoever. The length of the prison term increases with the higher number of the felony classification.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A SKILLED ATTORNEY
Assault charge(s) can have a serious impact on your life, your family’s lives, and your future. An assault conviction on your criminal record can affect your personal relationships, professional standing, your constitutional rights to own/possess a deadly weapon, and can potentially follow you for the rest of your life. Facing any type of assault on your own is ill-advised as you will be up against a legally trained prosecutor who seeks only to convict you. You need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you, your rights, and your future.
I will fight aggressively and diligently against hard-charging prosecutors to defend you! I will investigate your case thoroughly and use my findings to negotiate to have your assault charge(s) either reduced or dropped altogether; Or in the alternative, if we proceed to trial on the merits of your case and any/all applicable defense(s), rest assured knowing that I will work without end to hold the prosecution to its burden in their attempt to prove their assault allegation(s) beyond a reasonable doubt.
ASSAULT ATTORNEY SERVING SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
If you’re in Scottsdale, or any court in Arizona, and facing assault charges, whether misdemeanor or felony, contact me directly, William Morris, owner and founder of The Law Office of William L. Morris, P.L.L.C. immediately for a free telephonic consultation to discuss your matter and possible outcomes. Upon hiring me you can rest assured that I will use all of my knowledge, expertise and vast experience to stand up for you, protect your rights, and help you protect your future and your family. I am proud to serve clients throughout the numerous courts/jurisdictions of Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, or anywhere else within Arizona!
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