In Arizona is it Assault if You are Provoked?

is it assault if you are provokedWe know that most people do not go out one day and make a decision to assault someone. Things happen in our lives that are often out of our control. We can find ourselves in situations we never expected. That is what may have happened in a recent Arizona assault case we want to discuss today.

If you or someone you know is facing assault charges, please get help from an Arizona criminal defense attorney. These are serious charges that could lead to incarceration time, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record.

Today, we will discuss this particular case as well as review assault charges in Arizona.

What Happened Here?

Police say that on March 27, a suspect admitted to assaulting a man. As a result of the assault, the victim’s thigh bone was broken. They say they arrested Floyd Earl Latham at his home in Phoenix after a witness identified him as the suspect.

Sounds cut and dry, right?

As with any case, there are multiple sides to take into account. Police say that Latham pulled a man from a vehicle, punched him, and struck him in the leg with his knee. They say this was a road rage incident.

Latham, though, says he was provoked by the victim whom he says called him the “N-word” while they were driving down the road.

Now there is something to consider. Latham seems to have admitted to the assault, but was he provoked? Did Latham, an African American man, commit a crime of passion after he heard a slanderous, racially charged term used against him.

Latham was charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony and can land him considerable prison time. He needs to secure an attorney now to begin building a strong defense around him. If he can get his charges reduced to a misdemeanor, he will be in much better shape.

Assault In Arizona

The state of Arizona takes assault charges seriously. There are two main types of assault in the state – simple assault and aggravated assault. For simple assault, a person can face a range of misdemeanor charges:

  • Class 1 misdemeanor
    • Up to 6 months jail and up to $2,500 fine
  • Class 2 misdemeanor
    • Up to 4 months jail and up to $750 fine
  • Class 3 misdemeanor
    • Up to 30 days jail and up to $500 fine

However, if there was serious injury or disfigurement, if a deadly weapon was used to put a person in imminent fear of serious injury, or if a public servant was harmed, aggravated assault charges will be assigned.

  • Aggravated assault can range from a Class 2 to a Class 5 felony, meaning up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Find out the main difference between assault and battery.

Moving Forward Now

If you or someone you love is facing an assault charge, please seek assistance from a qualified Arizona criminal defense attorney. Regardless of the level of charge, please take it seriously. Your attorney will investigate all of the evidence against you and work to get your charges reduced or dismissed by forming a successful defense strategy around you. There are various defense strategies your attorney can use:

  • Prove there is not enough evidence to support the charges applied. This can include there being no eyewitnesses or visible injuries.
  • Prove that the defendant did not intend to cause harm to the victim.
  • Show that the defendant was provoked by the victim to commit the assault.

Assault charges are taken seriously by the state and prosecutors will use their considerable resources against you. Make sure you fire back with resources of your own.