Simple assault

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Sometimes arguments, disagreements, or altercations can get out of hand, leading to verbal threats, physical threats, or even physical violence. If you hurt, threaten to hurt, or touch another person in order to harm, insult, or provoke them, you could be charged with simple assault, which is a misdemeanor in the state of Arizona.

Simple assault charges may not seem like a big deal to some, but they can result in serious penalties like jail time, fines, or both. If you are facing a criminal assault charge in Arizona, contact a Phoenix assault defense attorney at Belén Law Firm today. Our goal is to minimize the impact of these charges on your life and future and to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Call (602) 715-0908 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team regarding your misdemeanor assault charge. 

misdemeanor assault lawyer

Is Assault a Felony or Misdemeanor?

This depends on the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault and the severity of the act.  In Arizona, if someone commits simple assault, they can only be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if they commit aggravated assault, they could be faced with a felony conviction. 

Felony assault is outlined under ARS § 13-1204, and it includes situations in which someone:

  • Causes serious physical injury to another person
  • Uses a deadly weapon to injure another person or to place them in fear of serious imminent harm
  • Causes substantial disfigurement to another person
  • Assaults another person after entering that person’s residence with intent to commit assault
  • Assaults someone they know to be a police officer, peace officer, or other law enforcement officer

If you have been accused of felony assault in Arizona, an experienced Phoenix aggravated assault attorney at  Belén Law Firm can help you understand the severity of the charges you’re facing.

Arizona simple assault charge

What is Misdemeanor Assault?

In Arizona, misdemeanor assault (also known as simple assault) is the act of causing physical injury to another person either intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. It also includes placing someone in reasonable fear of imminent physical injury, or touching someone with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke them. 

ARS § 13-1203

Misdemeanor assault is defined under ARS § 13-1203. Under Arizona law, a person commits assault when they:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing physical harm to another person.
  • Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm
  • Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, a person accused of simple assault in Arizona can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, Class 2 misdemeanor, or Class 3 misdemeanor. Below are the different criteria for these different kinds of misdemeanor charges:

  • Class 3 Misdemeanor Assault – Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke them.
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor Assault – Recklessly causing any physical injury to another person or intentionally placing another person in fear of physical injury.
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor Assault – Intentionally or knowingly causing any physical injury to another person.

It’s important to note that if the assault results in serious physical injury, or if there is a deadly weapon involved in the incident, the alleged offender may be charged with aggravated assault rather than simple assault. A Phoenix assault lawyer can help you understand the severity of the charges you may face.

Phoenix assault lawyers

Is Swearing at Someone Assault?

No, swearing at someone alone usually does not constitute assault under Arizona law unless it is accompanied by other actions or words, like threats of violence or intentional touching with intent to insult. Simply swearing at someone, without these additional elements, would not meet the legal definition of assault in Arizona.

Is Slapping Someone Assault?

Yes, in Arizona, slapping someone can constitute as simple assault if it is done with the intent to hurt the other person or to provoke them. The action must be done intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly and must result in physical harm to the victim to meet the legal definition of assault in Arizona.

Is Biting Someone Assault?

Yes, biting someone can be considered assault under Arizona law. Intentionally biting someone with the intent to cause physical injury or provoke them would likely be classified as assault. If the bite causes serious physical injury, meaning it resulted in life-threatening harm or permanent disfigurement, then the act may result in aggravated assault charges.

Misdemeanor Assault Examples

There are a lot of different acts that could constitute misdemeanor assault under Arizona penal law. Some examples include:

  • Pushing or poking someone during an argument
  • Throwing something at someone with the intent to hurt or scare them
  • Engaging in a physical altercation
  • Grabbing someone by the shirt with intent to scare, insult, or provoke them
  • Threatening to punch someone in the face
  • Raising or swinging a fist at someone
lawyer for assault

What are the Penalties for Misdemeanor Assault in AZ?

In Arizona, the penalties for simple assault depend on the severity of the charge. Misdemeanor assault can result in the following penalties:

  • Class 3 Misdemeanor Assault – Up to 30 days in jail, fines of up to $500, or both
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor Assault – Up to four months in jail, fines of up to $750, or both
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor Assault – Up to six months in jail, fines of up to $2,500, or both

Can You Fight a Misdemeanor?

Yes, individuals charged with misdemeanor offenses like simple assault have the right to fight their charges in court. They can present evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and use various violent crime defense strategies to contest the allegations. 

Defenses for Arizona Misdemeanor Assault

If you’re facing a simple assault conviction in Arizona, there are a few effective defense strategies you can use to avoid penalties, including:

  • The alleged offender was acting in self-defense
  • The alleged offender was acting in defense of someone else
  • The alleged victim was not actually hurt or threatened 
  • The alleged victim consented to the action
  • A lack of evidence
  • The alleged offender could not avoid the action
Phoenix assault charge lawyer

Why You Need an Experienced Phoenix Assault Lawyer

Even if the act was minor, simple assault can still result in jail time, serious fines, or both, and can leave a permanent stain on your criminal record. If you are facing an assault charge in Arizona, you need a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who can help you fight your charges.

An attorney can develop an effective defense strategy, negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or penalties, and advocate for your rights in court. With their knowledge of Arizona’s criminal laws, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

Why Choose Belén?

If you’re looking for an experienced assault defense attorney to help you fight your criminal charges in Phoenix, Arizona or the surrounding areas, look no further than Attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra at the Belén Law Firm. With a proven track record of successfully defending clients against various criminal charges, including misdemeanor assault, Attorney Belén brings extensive experience and legal knowledge to every case she takes on.

At Belén Law Firm, we create personalized defense strategies for each of our clients, tailoring their defense to the unique circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. Not only that, but we fiercely advocate for our clients, both in and out of court, ensuring they receive the best possible outcome given their situation.

simple assault defense attorney Phoenix, AZ

Facing Misdemeanor Assault Charges? Call the Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys at Belén Law Firm Today

If you have been accused of simple assault in Arizona, reach out to a Phoenix assault attorney at Belén Law Firm. We’re dedicated to providing you with the steadfast legal representation you need to succeed in your assault case. Whether you’re facing a simple assault charge, aggravated assault charge, or a charge for another assault-related crime, Attorney Belén and her team are here to help.

When you choose Belén Law Firm, you’re not just getting a lawyer—you’re gaining a trusted ally who will stand by your side every step of the way. We’ll meticulously review the details of your case, craft a tailored defense strategy to your circumstances, and vigorously advocate for you and your rights in court.

Contact Belén Law Firm at (602) 715-0908 or fill out our online intake form to schedule a free consultation with a Phoenix misdemeanor assault attorney today.

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