Assault is a violent crime that causes physical, emotional, and psychological pain to the victim. Due to the seriousness of the consequences of an assault, a person charged and convicted of this crime will face far-reaching penalties, including jail time, fines, community service, and counseling. The perpetrator’s reputation will be damaged in the community and in the workplace, economic opportunities may be limited, and wages can be depressed for entire careers. It is crucial for you to contact a Phoenix assault lawyer as soon as possible if you are arrested or charged with assault. Do not try to fight this alone. A knowledgeable and skilled attorney will defend your rights, help you understand your options, and give you the best chance at fighting the charges or reducing them.
How Is Assault Defined in Arizona?
Arizona state law defines assault as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes a physical injury to another person; or threatening to harm another person; or knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure.
Data from the Phoenix Police Department’s Crime Analysis and Research Unit for the first half of 2020 is startling and sobering and shows an increase of 25% in the frequency of aggravated assaults from 2019. Guns are the weapon used by suspects in 42% of assaults.
Types Of Assault Charges
There are two types of assault in Arizona: simple assault and aggravated assault.
Simple assault is intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing another person physical harm, or threatening to cause physical harm. It is considered a misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault (sometimes called battery) is a felony crime. The crime results in substantial physical injury to the victim. It most often involves the use of a deadly weapon such as a gun, knife, or car to inflict severe damage to another person; however, there are other instances in which a person can be charged with aggravated assault.
Reckless endangerment incidents are often considered an aggravated assault. This includes actions such as:
- Reckless driving, speeding
- Shooting a gun into a crowd
- Throwing rocks or other objects off an overpass
- Tampering with someone’s car, such as cutting the brakes
- Violating safety regulations at work
- Threatening, with aggravated circumstances
- Domestic violence
Some reckless endangerment charges deal specifically with acts concerning minors or children, such as:
- Leaving a child unattended (at home, in a car, in a public place, etc.)
- Driving drunk with a child in the car
- Serving alcohol to a minor
What Are The Penalties For Simple Assault For First-Time Offenders?
The penalties for assault vary widely, depending on the type of assault charge, the circumstances surrounding the incident, whether there is a previous history of violent crime, and the severity of the injury to the victim.
CLASS 1 MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT PENALTIES
- Maximum sentence of 6 months in jail
- $500 to $2,500 in fines
- 3 years of probation
- Counseling classes
- Restitution to the victim
- Over $2,000 in surcharges
If you are charged with a Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanor assault charge, the penalties are less severe, but will still disrupt your life and hit you in the wallet.
CLASS 2 MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT PENALTIES
- Maximum sentence of 4 months in jail
- Up to $750 in fines
- 2 years probation
- Counseling classes
- Community service
- Restitution to the victim
- $600 in surcharges
CLASS 3 MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT PENALTIES
- Up to 30 days in jail
- $500 fine
- Up to 12 months of probation
- $400 in Surcharges
What Are The Penalties For Aggravated Assault Dangerous For First-Time Offenders?
If you are convicted of aggravated assault as a dangerous offense, you will be charged with a Class 2 to Class 5 felony. You WILL go to jail — the only question is how long. The range for jail time for a Class 5 (least severe) to Class 2 (most severe) aggravated assault felony is 1.5 years to 21 years.
CLASS 2 FELONY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DANGEROUS PENALTIES FOR FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS
- Prison term of 7 years to 21 years
- Fines up to $150,000 plus surcharges
What Are Some Common Defenses Used In Assault Cases?
A Phoenix assault lawyer will help you map out the most effective strategy to use in your specific case.
- It wasn’t you; they got the wrong person
- The victim has a history of lying and making false accusations
- You acted out of self-defense; you were being threatened or intimidated
- Lack of witnesses
- Lack of credible witnesses
- The incident was a complete accident; no harm or injury was intended or foreseen
Each assault case has unique features and circumstances. This area of law is complex.
An assault charge is serious; do not make the mistake of taking it lightly or thinking that you can defend yourself. You will be going up against an experienced prosecutor who has most likely participated in dozens of trials for these types of cases.
The best defense is a good offense. Call a Phoenix assault lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you have all the tools available to ensure the best outcome for your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the penalty for assault in Arizona?
The penalty for an assault conviction in Arizona depends on how serious the assault charges were. For a misdemeanor assault, penalties will usually include up to 6 months of jail time, as well as fines, counseling, and community service. For aggravated assault dangerous (felony charges) penalties will include at least 7 years of jail time and very, very steep fines.
Will I go to jail for first-time assault?
Even for a first time offender, a conviction for assault charges will most likely include jail time. For a misdemeanor, this will likely be at least a day, and for a dangerous felony, it will be at least 7 years.
What is the lowest assault charge?
A class 3 assault is the lowest assault charge in Arizona. In order to be convicted of a class 3 assault, the prosecution needs to prove that you touched someone with the full intention of hurting or provoking them.
PHOENIX CRIMINAL & DUI ATTORNEY NEAR YOU
Future First Criminal Law is a top-rated Phoenix, Arizona law firm with a practice dedicated to Criminal and DUI Defense. We represent clients all throughout the Phoenix area.
If you need help defending against assault any other criminal charges in Arizona, you need an attorney who will fight for your rights.
It’s understandable that you want to get this behind you, but don’t make the mistake of simply pleading guilty to the charges. A conviction for assault charges will have severe, and long-lasting consequences, and you need to be aware of what they will be before making any decisions. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and to discuss your case with a Phoenix assault lawyer right away.