Whether you are facing misdemeanor assault or felony aggravated assault charges, the consequences are serious and may be devastating. An assault occurs quite frequently under a variety of circumstances, and there are equally as many defenses. Don’t risk your freedom and a conviction – there are qualified defense attorneys who can help. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you understand your charges, your potential consequences, and ultimately your best defenses. For example, were your actions an accident, in self defense, out of fear or in response to a perceived threat? Were the circumstances unforeseen, unexpected or unpreventable? Were your constitutional rights violated before, during, or after your arrest? Do prosecutors even have evidence necessary for a conviction?
With assaults ranging from the simple threat of violence to inflicting bodily harm on someone, the potential sentence could range from mere fines to lengthy prison sentences.
Simple assaults in Arizona are defined as knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another person; or knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke; or intentionally causing another person to reasonably fear imminent bodily harm. When the assault is between people who live together, or who have a romantic or dating relationship, it is considered Domestic Violence or Domestic Assault. Without assistance of a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, the accused faces a far higher risk of conviction for misdemeanor assault, which can result in significant fines, and ultimately the loss of your freedom.
Arizona categorizes misdemeanor assault charges into the following three classes:
- Class 3 misdemeanor assaults include touching with intent to injure or provoke. A Class 3 misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail, a $500 fine plus surcharges, and up to 12 months probation.
- Class 2 misdemeanor assaults include the threat of injury. A Class 2 misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 4 months in jail, a $750 fine plus surcharges, and up to 2 years probation.
- Class 1 misdemeanor assaults include any actual physical injury. A Class 1 misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail, a $2500 fine plus surcharges, and up to 3 years probation.
Additionally, if convicted of domestic violence, you will no longer be able to possess firearms or ammunition, and the conviction may be used against you in any Divorce or Child Custody Proceeding.
Aggravated assault is typically a Class 3 or 4 felony in Arizona. Often times, aggravated assault is a dangerous offense. If convicted of Aggravated Assault as a dangerous offense, even as a first offense, you will go to prison.
There are a number of circumstances that can elevate an assault to the “aggravated” level including:
- causing serious physical injury or substantial disfigurement to another (such as with an automobile)
- using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument to intentionally place somebody in imminent fear of serious physical injury
- committing misdemeanor assault on a police officer, fire fighter, teacher, prosecutor, health care provider, or prison guard
- a person 18 years of age or older committing misdemeanor assault on a child who is 15 or younger
- the victim of the assault is restrained at the time of the assault
- the assault is committed after entering the private home of someone
While your criminal history and the circumstances of your crime will impact the length of your sentence, even those convicted of a first offense may face from 5 to 15 years in prison. For a second conviction, the sentence can increase to as much as 10 to 20 years in prison, and a third conviction can increase the prison sentence to as much as 15 to 25 years.
While there is a substantial risk of jail or prison time, there is still flexibility in the significant range of recommended years a person may be sentenced. An experienced, aggressive attorney will fight to ensure you receive shortest sentence possible.
Threatening or Intimidating
Threatening or intimidating another or their property is also considered assault in Arizona and can result in Class 1 misdemeanor charges. However, the charges increase to a Class 3 felony offense and carry a 3 ½ year prison sentence, if the threat is made against a witness to a crime, or if the threat is made by someone involved in gang activity or criminal enterprise. Arizona also considers it assault if a person causing serious public inconvenience; including action that causes evacuation of a public place or building.
Endangerment refers to an act that endangers someone to risk personal physical injury. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a potential prison term of up to one year and fines of $2,500.
Reckless or felony endangerment is any behavior that creates the risk of “imminent death” and carries a potential sentence of up to one year in prison and a record as a convicted felon. It is a Class 6 felony and carries a presumptive prison sentence of one year with a maximum of 1 ½ years.
Don’t risk your freedom and a conviction!
If you or a loved one as been arrested for assault, you should consult with an experienced, qualified criminal law attorney who will review your case and explain your options. Michael Kielsky is ready to fight for your rights with honest, aggressive, and confidential representation. In his more than 9 years of practice, he has handled hundreds of criminal law cases and is ready to defend you.
Contact Michael Kielsky, 24 hours a day, at 480.461.5309.
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