Arizona Aggravated Assault Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are arrested and face charges of assault in Phoenix or elsewhere in Maricopa Country or the surrounding areas of Arizona, a conviction can turn your life upside down. Our Phoenix criminal defense team at The Ferragut Law Firm have the experience, legal expertise and dedication that you want on your side when you face the oppressive power and virtually unlimited resources of the government. At The Ferragut Law Firm, we have decades of experience handling the most difficult criminal cases and time serving as a judicial officer. Our law firm works closely with private investigators, forensics experts, mitigation experts, and experts in many other specialized areas of knowledge when striving for the most favorable outcome for our clients.
In Arizona, assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific facts and circumstances. The criminal offense of assault is classified into two distinct types of offenses under Arizona law: (1) misdemeanor assault, and (2) felony assault (“aggravated assault”). Each of these types of assault can carry several potential types of penalties ranging from probation and counseling to imprisonment and substantial fines. Our criminal defense team works diligently to gather exculpatory evidence, reveal false testimony, suppress evidence obtained illegally and expose insufficient evidence when seeking to obtain an acquittal or dismissal. When this is not possible, we aggressively pursue a favorable plea agreement which can include diversion and dismissal of the charges after competing classes for a first offense in some jurisdictions.
Understanding the Criminal Offense of “Simple Assault” under Arizona Criminal Law [A.R.S. 13-1203]
Whether you face a type of misdemeanor or felony assault offense, you can be subject to serious penalties because this offense is considered a crime against a victim in Arizona. Misdemeanor assault (also referred to as “simple assault”) that is committed knowingly or intentionally is classified into three categories of offenses that carry different penalties under A.R.S. Section 13-1203 (A)(1) – (A)(3):
- A.R.S. 13-1203(A)(1) Causing any physical injury to another individual intentionally, knowingly or recklessly constitutes a Class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum of six months in county jail and a $2,500 fine.
- A.R.S. 13-1203(A)(2) Intentionally causing another person to experience reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury is a Class 2 misdemeanor that can result in a term of incarceration of up to four months and a $750 fine.
- A.R.S. 13-1203(A)(3) Knowingly touching another individual with the intent to injure or insult the other person is a Class 3 misdemeanor that can carry a sentence of thirty days in jail and a $500 fine.
Sentences for misdemeanor assault also can carry other penalties that include some or all of the following:
- Monetary restitution
- Anger management classes
- Other costs and fees
- Other penalties the court determines are appropriate
Definition & Penalties for Aggravated Assault (Felony Assault) in Arizona [A.R.S. 13-1204]
The prosecutor may charge assault as a felony (“aggravated assault”) if an individual engages in conduct defined by A.R.S. 1203 (A)(1)-(A)(3) listed above and any of the following apply:
- Serious physical injury
- Use of deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- Temporary substantial disfigurement or temporary substantial impairment/loss of body organ or fracture
- Victim restrained or capacity to resist substantially impaired
- Committed after entering home of another
- Perpetrator 18 or older and victim under 15
- Reason to know victim is member of certain protected classes under specific circumstances including law enforcement officers, firemen, teachers, health care practitioners, public defenders, prosecutors, municipal park rangers, code enforcement officers
While this list includes many of the factors that can result in an assault offense being charged as a felony, the list is not exhaustive, so you should speak to an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney if you are charged with an assault offense. If you are charged with aggravated assault, you can face a lengthy term in state prison, substantial fines and a felony record.
The consequences of a felony assault conviction can have an impact that follows you long after you have fulfilled your term of incarceration, such as:
- Disqualification from obtaining certain professional and occupational licenses
- Public felony record adversely affecting job opportunities and promotions
- Negative consequences regarding immigration status and benefits
- Adverse impact on academic opportunities
- Loss of Constitutional rights including firearm ownership/possession
- More significant penalties/charges for subsequent offenses
When you are confronting the potentially life-changing charges of assault, you should refuse to speak to the police and assert your right to a criminal defense lawyer. Our criminal defense team at the Ferragut Law Firm carefully investigates medical records, police reports, witness statements and other evidence, so we can identify police misconduct, potential defenses and weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. While our defense strategy is carefully tailored to the specific facts of your case, some of the defenses we might use if you are charged with assault include proof of lack of evidence, self-defense, defense of others, lack of intent, defense of property, and Miranda violations just to name a few examples. The priority of the law firm is to seek dismissal or acquittal, but we will seek the best possible plea agreement when appropriate. We invite you to contact us today at 602-324-5300 during business hours or 602-370-4597 after hours to schedule your free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney.