Assault charges may arise subsequent to an argument, a physical altercation, or in connection with other crimes, such as disorderly conduct or domestic violence. An allegation of assault is a serious matter, and in Arizona, an assault is considered a violent crime. An assault charge could be a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon the circumstances, but in any case, requires an aggressive defense to challenge the evidence and mitigate the associated penalties with this type of conviction.
An allegation of assault is often accompanied by an accusation of battery. In Arizona both Assault and Battery have been merged into one statute. Assault includes merely a threat of the use of force. Battery means actually touching the other person. Assault and Battery can include the use of an object or a weapon to intimidate or cause physical injury to another. The more severe the injury caused, the more serious the charges and penalties can be if you are convicted.
If you are facing an assault charge, contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who will vigorously defend your rights and seek to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. This Firm represents clients facing all types of assault charges, including (but not limited to), Aggravated Assault, Endangerment, Threatening and Intimidating, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct, and Misdemeanor Assault. Mr. Buckallew is a Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney with nearly 20 years’ experience in litigating all types of Assault cases in just about every Court in the Valley.
Domestic disputes can result in false accusations of assault, and law enforcement officers may feel compelled to believe the statements of the alleged victim. Even if the alleged victim later decides that he or she no longer wants to move forward with the case, this alone will not result in a dismissal by the prosecutor, as it is the State who brings the charges, not the victim. It is crucial that you have the assistance of an aggressive and dedicated assault criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate through our often-complicated criminal justice system.Arrested for Aggravated Assault?
In Arizona an Aggravated Assault is a simple assault that is enhanced by the unique nature of the facts of the case. An assault can become an Aggravated Assault if:
- It results in serious physical injury
- A weapon is used
- The assault causes a fracture or temporary loss of use of a bodily organ or function
- If the victim is under 15 and the aggressor is over 18.
- Aggravated assault can also occur if one commits a simple assault upon certain protected classes such as:
- Police officers
- Correctional officers
- Health care providers
- Code enforcement officers
- Park rangers
- Court appointed attorneys
Some of the more common types of Aggravated Assaults include assaults that result in serious injury, result in a fracture or where a weapon was used – including a car. For example, if a person is involved in a car accident while impaired that results in injury to another, the charge will normally be Aggravated Assault (as opposed to DUI). Under this theory of prosecution, the vehicle becomes the weapon/dangerous instrument.
To add more complexity to this already complicated statutory scheme the government can add allegations of "dangerousness" to the charge. If the offense involves any type of weapon or dangerous instrument (including a car) the Aggravated Assault will be alleged to be a "dangerous" crime which then means if a person is convicted the penalty is mandatory imprisonment, and the length of that prison sentence is enhanced as compared to a non-dangerous crime. "Dangerous" crimes are not probation eligible but can become probation eligible if the "Dangerous" allegation is dismissed – a common strategy in plea negotiations.
The potential sentence for an Aggravated Assault (felony) charge will be dependent on the facts of the case, and under which type of Aggravated Assault one is charged with – but the range of penalty can be anywhere from a designated misdemeanor offense with no jail all the way to mandatory imprisonment in the Arizona State prison for up to 21 years for a first offense class 2 dangerous felony. Generally speaking all Aggravated Assault charges will start out as felony charges but not all will be labeled as "dangerous" offenses. Some types of Aggravated Assault charges can be reduced to misdemeanor offenses even though they are charged initially as felony crimes.
If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault it is important that you seek out competent legal advice. The Firm represents individuals charged with ANY felony charge in the State of Arizona and has handled countless cases involving Aggravated Assault over the years.
Contact the Firm and speak to a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist for a free evaluation of your assault case.