What Happens When Charged With Aggravated Assault in AZ?
There are many circumstances in which a person could be charged with assault in Arizona. Assault, not matter whether it was intentional not intentional, is a crime and will be charged accordingly. There are different levels of assault in this state, with many charges only rising to the misdemeanor level. However, there are certain circumstances in which a charge can rise to the level of “aggravated assault.”
How An Assault Becomes “Aggravated”
If we look at the Arizona statute concerning aggravated assault (A.R.S. § 13-1204 (A) Classification), we see that there are a variety of ways that a person could be charged with this crime. First, the law says that you can be charged with aggravated assault if they knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally provoke, injure, insult, cause physical injury or harm to another person. This definition is followed by a series of possibilities which you can see here.
The penalties for being convicted of aggravated assault can be severe but vary widely:
- A person sentenced under a Class 6 Misdemeanor, the least severe would give a person anywhere from 18 months to 3 years of time in prison.
- A Class 2 Misdemeanor, the most severe punishment for aggravated assault, carried a sentence of 7 to 21 years in prison.
What A Skilled Defense Attorney Will Do
The goal of a qualified and experienced defense attorney will be to set up a defense in order to get the charged against you dropped or reduced.
- Since the statute reads that a person can be charged with aggravated assault if they “knowingly” intended to cause a person harm, your defense can revolve around the fact that you did not intentionally mean to cause harm to another person. This does, however, admit that another party was harmed in the incident but does not mean you should be charged so severely.
- It could also be argued that you were not guilty of the crime at all. If you have been wrongfully accused then you need to have an attorney who will vigorously defend you in court. You may be surprised at how often people are wrongfully accused in these cases. Often, aggravated assault charges are handed down after chaotic incidents in which many individuals are involved. Eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable. This can lead to the finger being pointed at you, even if you were not involved.
- You can be charged with aggravated assault even if you were acting in self-defense. Again, in chaotic situations, you may find the need to defend yourself from what I going on around you. If you harm someone in the process of doing this, law enforcement may still charge you with aggravated assault. After that, it is up to the court system to handle the case. In this case, yes you would have caused harm but not out of malice or ill-intent.
What You Can Do Now
If you have been charged with aggravated assault, the best thing you can do is secure a qualified and experienced Arizona defense attorney. These charges can alter your life in ways you may not have considered. Yes, there is a possibility of prison time, but you could also be saddled with paying restitution for damages. These charges will likely mean you lose the ability to ever own or possess a firearm. They can also impact your ability to see and interact with your children, especially if you share custody with the other parent.
Do not try to defend yourself or rely on a public defender. Not when so much is at stake. Click here to find out prosecutorial overcharging can ruin your life.