Criminal Assault Defense in Arizona
Assault charges can result in a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. An Arizona criminal defense attorney can help you better understand your specific case and the charges against you.
Generally, assault charges are a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. When an assault is gang-related or in retaliation of another crime, the assault can be charged as a Class 6 felony.
Even if your assault is only being charged as a misdemeanor, you can face up to six months in jail and be ordered to pay $2,5000 in fines. In addition to your fines, you still face court fees, making it costly to be convicted of an assault.
Assault does not always indicate physical harm or bodily injury. There does not have to be direct contact with the other person for charges to be filed.
An example of this is one individual throwing an object at another and missing. While there were no injuries involved, the person who was the target of the object being thrown perceived danger at the hands of the person throwing the object.
Assault often gets coupled with battery. However, contact must occur for battery charges.
Assault with a weapon
When your assault charges include a weapon, you’ll face harsh punishment for the crime. Even if you never use the weapon to harm another person, you can be charged with intimidation and threatening to use the weapon.
An assault graduates to being an aggravated assault when it includes one or more of the following characteristics:
- The subject of the assault is seriously injured.
- A deadly weapon is used.
- Entering a home with the intent of harming the individual inside.
- The person charged with assault is over the age of 18, while the individual the crime is committed against is less than 15 years old.
- The assault is against someone in the protected class, such as a teacher, police officer or firefighter.
Defenses for assault charges
There are many ways you can defend yourself if criminal charges are brought against you for assault. Here are some ways you might defend your innocence:
- Self-defense: if you can prove you acted in self-defense, the assault charges might be dropped.
- Defending another person: when you stand up for someone who cannot protect themselves, injuring someone else is sometimes justifiable. If your assault actions were to defend another person, you can get your assault charges dropped.
- Defending your property: at times, there are clear threats to our personal property, such as in the case of our home being broken into. In such cases, you have a right to defend your personal property from harm or theft.
- Being provoked: you may have been provoked when you injured the other individual making your actions less serious.
- Consent: in some circumstances, both parties are willing to fight one another. This might be in professional fighting or sports with a known risk of violence.
An Arizona criminal defense attorney can help you defend your good name. An attorney will build your case and provide compelling evidence to get the charges against you dropped.
Hiring an Arizona criminal defense attorney
You should seek an Arizona criminal defense attorney if you’re facing assault charges. Pleading your case in court and proving your case can be difficult if you have no prior courtroom experience.
An attorney can help you speed up the process, and sometimes even avoid court entirely with negotiations. Regardless of your circumstances, discussing your case with an attorney can be enlightening and many provide free consultations to allow you time to get a feel for how they work and their experience level with similar cases.
Click here for information on how Arizona treats domestic violence charges.