Aggravated Assault Charges in Arizona & Odds of Conviction
A lot of people don’t realize there’s a difference between simple assault and aggravated assault. They assume it’s just a matter of how seriously the victim was hurt. This isn’t true. Your Arizona criminal defense attorney can explain that aggravated assault charges in Arizona are quite different than regular old assault charges.
There is a Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault
According to Arizona law, regular assault involves intentionally, recklessly or knowingly causing physical injury to a third party. It also includes threatening somebody with physical bodily harm to the point where they truly believe they’re in imminent harm. When it comes to aggravated assault charges in Arizona, it takes a bit more than this. It could be elevated to this crime if you use a deadly weapon. However, it can also be considered aggravated assault if you commit it against any of the following people:
- Medical professional
- Police officer
- Public defender
- Priest or clergy
If the victim belongs to any of these classes, there’s a good chance you’ll be facing aggravated assault charges in Arizona.
Are there any Defenses to Aggravated Assault Charges in Arizona?
As with any other criminal offense, there are defenses to aggravated assault charges in Arizona. These defenses are based on the elements of the crime itself. In order to be convicted of aggravated assault charges in Arizona, the State needs to prove the following:
- You assaulted a third party
- They were a member of a protected class OR
- You did so with a deadly weapon OR
- You caused serious physical harm or disfigurement
When it comes to defending your aggravated assault charges in Arizona, your crimina defense lawyer will need to prove that one of these elements were not present. You’ll notice that one of the major elements is that you committed an assault. This is no harder to prove than simple assault. What makes this offense a more serious crime is the other elements. If your assault is committed against certain groups of people, it will automatically become a felony. It will also be considered aggravated assault.
The same is true if you commit an assault with a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon does not have to be a gun. It can be any item that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. For example, the following items will be considered a deadly weapon for purposes of proving your aggravated assault charges in Arizona:
- Baseball bat
- tire iron or heavy tool
- Beer bottle
- Pole or stick
- Your fists if you’re trained in martial arts or boxing
Your Arizona criminal defense lawyer will work hard to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. This way, they can get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
Talk to an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona Right Away
If you’ve been arrested for aggravated assault charges in Arizona, you need help. There’s a good chance you’ll be spending some time in jail immediately following your arrest. You’re also going to have to attend your first court appearance within days of your arrest. You don’t want to go to this hearing by yourself. You have a much better chance of having your aggravated assault charges in Arizona reduced if you have a lawyer with you.
Call and talk to a seasoned criminal defense attorney Arizona as soon as possible. If you can’t call from the jail, have your family call on your behalf. There’s too much at stake to try to handle this on your own.