Aggravated Assault Attorneys

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Facing aggravated assault charges in Phoenix, AZ can be a distressing and overwhelming experience, especially when you’re uncertain about your next steps. That’s why you need the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney who understands the intricacies of Arizona’s criminal justice system and is dedicated to protecting your rights. At Belén Law Firm, our team of experienced aggravated assault attorneys is committed to providing you with the aggressive defense you deserve. 

Whether you’ve been wrongfully accused or are seeking guidance after an unfortunate altercation, our skilled legal professionals are here to stand by your side. Trust Belén and her team of attorneys to navigate the complexities of your legal situation and work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your future.

To request a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney at our law firm, call (602) 715-0908 or complete our online contact form today.

Phoenix aggravated assault lawyer

What’s Considered Aggravated Assault?

In Arizona, aggravated assault is a serious offense characterized by the infliction of significant physical injury or the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument during the commission of the assault. Other circumstances that can elevate a simple assault charge to an aggravated assault charge include assaulting certain protected professionals or minors, committing assault while violating a protective order, and more. 

ARS § 13-1204

Arizona’s definition of aggravated assault can be found under ARS § 13-1204, which defines the crime as an assault that involves:

  1. Serious physical injury to another;
  2. The use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;
  3. Temporary but substantial disfigurement, loss or impairment of a body part, or fracture of a body part;
  4. Impairing a victim’s ability to resist, such as by use of physical restraints
  5. Entering someone’s home with intent;
  6. Assault against a minor;
  7. Violation of an order of protection; or
  8. Protected individuals, such as a police officer, prison guard, or healthcare professional. 

The statute categorizes aggravated assault as a felony, with the severity of charges ranging from Class 2 to Class 6, depending on the specific details of the offense.

What is aggravated assault

Types of Aggravated Assault Charges

The criminal offense of aggravated assault in Arizona involves a range of different scenarios. Below, we’ll provide a more in-depth overview of the main types of aggravated assault charges in Arizona.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon involves the use of a weapon or dangerous instrument during the commission of an assault where the perpetrator either:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused physical injury to another person;
  • Intentionally made another person fear imminent physical injury; or
  • Knowingly touched another person with the intent to injure them.

The term “deadly weapon or dangerous instrument” may include anything from firearms to knives to blunt instruments like tire irons, baseball bats, or generally any item capable of causing severe bodily harm or death. Prosecutors often pursue harsh penalties for individuals charged with assault using such weapons due to the heightened risk to public safety and the potential for catastrophic consequences.

Assault Causing Serious Physical Injury

Assault causing serious physical injury is a grave offense defined as inflicting significant harm upon another person. The term “serious physical injury” encompasses a spectrum of injuries that extend beyond minor bruises or cuts and may include broken bones, internal injuries, or severe lacerations requiring extensive medical treatment. Perpetrators of such violence often face severe legal consequences due to the profound impact their actions have on the victim’s well-being.

Assault on a Protected Class of Individuals

Assault on a protected class of individuals refers to the commission of violent crimes against certain designated groups. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Police officers
  • Peace officers
  • Firefighters
  • EMTs and paramedics
  • State or park rangers
  • Teachers and school nurses
  • Healthcare workers
  • Prosecutors (county attorneys, city attorneys)
  • Public defenders
  • Judges
  • Prison guards

In order to be charged with aggravated assault based on a victim’s status, the prosecution must prove that the alleged victim was performing their official duties at the time of the incident, with an exception for police officers. For an assault to be classified as aggravated against a law enforcement officer, the officer does not need to be actively fulfilling their duties.

Assault in a Victim’s Home

When an individual carries out an assault on someone else while unlawfully entering or remaining in that person’s home, they may be charged with aggravated assault in a private residence. For example, if an individual breaks into a home and, in the process, physically attacks or threatens to attack the homeowner, this would constitute aggravated assault committed on private property.

Assault in Violation of a Protective Order

Aggravated assault in violation of a protective order represents another very serious offense here in Arizona. This occurs when an individual commits an assault while also breaching a court-issued protective (or “restraining”) order. For instance, if someone who has been served such an order due to domestic violence charges aggressively confronts and/or physically harms the protected individual. This act not only constitutes aggravated assault but also violates the protective order, meaning the penalties for such an act are often steep.

Assault of a Minor

In Arizona, the aggravated assault of a minor is a particularly heinous offense, treated with utmost severity under the law. This charge occurs when an individual who is 18 years of age or older commits assault against a person under the age of 15. Because it is considered to be a Dangerous Crime Against Children, anyone facing these charges can expect significantly longer prison sentences as well as many other harsh criminal penalties.

Aggravated assault criminal charge

Is Aggravated Assault a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Aggravated assault is considered a felony offense in Arizona. Unlike simple (misdemeanor) assault, which involves lesser forms of physical abuse or threats, aggravated assault involves more severe actions that result in serious injury or involve aggravating factors, such as the use of a deadly weapon. When an individual is charged with aggravated assault, it signifies that the alleged victim suffered serious harm or that the circumstances of the assault elevate the offense to a felony level. As a result, an aggravated assault charge carries much more severe legal consequences.

How Much Jail Time for Aggravated Assault?

In Arizona, the penalties for aggravated assault vary depending on factors such as the severity of the offense and the person’s criminal history. Generally speaking, aggravated assault is charged as a Class 3 or Class 4 felony, but aggravating and mitigating factors can play into the sentencing determination and either reduce or increase the charge. 

Below are the potential penalties for the different classes of felonies a defendant may face if charged with first-offense aggravated assault in Arizona:

To learn more about the potential penalties for second and subsequent aggravated assault offenses, take a look at Arizona’s felony sentencing guidelines.

Additional Consequences for Aggravated Assault Conviction

A felony conviction for aggravated assault in Arizona can lead to a number of other consequences beyond just a lengthy prison sentence. For instance, a conviction may also result in substantial fines, probation, mandatory participation in anger management or rehabilitation programs, and the loss of certain rights, such as the right to own firearms. 

Individuals convicted of assault-related crimes may also encounter challenges in obtaining employment, securing housing, or pursuing educational opportunities due to the stigma associated with a violent criminal record. Not only that, but a conviction for felony assault can have long-lasting effects on personal and professional relationships as well as a person’s reputation within the community. 

These far-reaching consequences are why it’s so important for individuals facing such charges to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to mitigate the potential consequences and navigate the legal process effectively. 

jail time for assault

Can Aggravated Assault Charges Be Dropped?

Yes, aggravated assault charges can be dropped, but the process and likelihood depend on various factors. This includes the strength of the evidence, the circumstances surrounding the case, and the jurisdiction’s policies. However, it’s important to note that the decision to drop charges lies with the prosecutor and the court, not the alleged victim. In cases where the alleged victim doesn’t want to proceed with the charges, the prosecutor may consider this, but they can still decide to move forward if there’s enough evidence to support a conviction.

The best way to increase the chances of having your aggravated assault charges dropped is to work with an experienced Phoenix assault lawyer who can negotiate with the prosecutor, present evidence or arguments that weaken the prosecution’s case, and advocate for the dismissal or reduction of charges.

How a Phoenix Aggravated Assault Attorney at Belén Law Firm Can Help

At Belén Law Firm, our Phoenix assault attorneys understand the complexities of defending clients facing such serious charges. With a thorough understanding of aggravated assault penalties and the potential for a lengthy prison term upon conviction, we work tirelessly to protect your rights and freedom. Our attorneys scrutinize every aspect of the case, from gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses to challenging the prosecution’s arguments in court. 

Whether negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges or vigorously advocating for your innocence at trial, we strive to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients facing this serious criminal charge.

Possible Defenses for Arizona Aggravated Assault Charges

There are a number of possible defenses that can help mitigate or avoid aggravated assault charges depending on the facts and evidence surrounding your case. Some of the most common include:

  • Self-Defense: The defendant was protecting themselves, their property, or another person from imminent harm.
  • Defense of Others: The defendant acted to prevent harm to another individual.
  • Lack of Intent: The defendant did not have the intention to threaten or cause harm, which is necessary for an assault conviction.
  • Mistaken Identity: The defendant was incorrectly identified as the perpetrator.
  • Alibi: The defendant was elsewhere at the time of the alleged assault.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Lack of concrete evidence to support the elements of an aggravated assault charge.
  • Duress: The defendant was forced to commit the act under threat of immediate harm to themselves or others.
  • Mental Incapacity or Insanity: The defendant was not in a mental state that allowed them to understand the nature or wrongfulness of their actions.
Phoenix Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney

Facing an Aggravated Assault Charge in Phoenix, AZ? Call the Belén Law Firm for Experienced Criminal Defense Representation Today

If you face aggravated assault charges (or any other assault-related crime), it’s important that you take these charges extremely seriously. A conviction for this violent crime can change your life forever. That is why it is so important that you reach out to an Arizona aggravated assault attorney as soon as possible to begin crafting a strong defense strategy to fight these criminal charges.

At Belén Law Firm, we know what it takes to put up an aggressive and successful defense for your assault case. So don’t wait – take the first step toward safeguarding your future right now. You can reach our Maricopa County law office by calling (602) 715-0908 or complete our online intake form to request a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix violent crime defense lawyer on our team today.

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