Arizona Assault And Battery Laws
It is not necessary to injure another person for charges or conviction of assault in Arizona. In other words, you can gain an assault charge without even touching another person.
Assault and battery charges frequently occur after a fight or brawl. Many people confuse assault with battery. But assault is an attempt to injure another person or a threat of doing so, whereas battery is actual injurious or offensive contact with another party.
Overview of Arizona Assault and Battery Laws
There are three misdemeanor offense assault charges in Arizona, according to the seriousness of your actions. A misdemeanor assault conviction requires that the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed any of the following:
- Intentional, knowing or reckless physical injury to another person
- Intentional placement of another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury
- Knowing touching of another person with intent for injury, insult or provocation of that person
Simple assault does not result in heavy penalties. But if you have prior conviction for assault in the past 24 months, your offense elevates to the next higher class for sentencing. For example, if you are convicted of a Class 3 assault but were also convicted of assault last year, you will be sentenced for Class 2 assault due to the repeated offense.
According to a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, charges and sentencing for assault in Arizona include:
- Class 1 assault, the most serious charge for misdemeanor assault based on proof that you knowingly, intentionally or recklessly caused someone else physical injury
- Class 2 assault, misdemeanor assault requiring proof you intentionally caused another person fear or reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury
- Class 3 assault, the least serious charge requiring only proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you touched another person with intent to insult, injure or provoke them
In Arizona, battery is called aggravated assault. This charge ranges from a Class 2 to a Class 5 felony, depending on the victim’s status or acts committed against that victim. If you are convicted of aggravated assault, you will go to prison even if it is your first offense.
A number of factors can elevate assault to aggravated assault. These include:
- Causing another person severe physical injury or substantial disfigurement, such as with a motor vehicle
- Using a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon to intentionally put someone in imminent fear of serious physical injury
- Committing misdemeanor assault on a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, healthcare provider, prison guard or prosecutor
- As an adult of 18 years of age or older, committing misdemeanor assault on a child aged 15 or younger
- Committing assault on a restrained person
- Committing assault after entering someone’s private home
Your criminal background and the circumstances of the crime will impact your sentencing. Being convicted of a first offense of aggravated assault can lead to sentencing of five to 15 years in prison. Second conviction can increase the sentence to as many as 10 to 20 years in prison. A third conviction increases sentencing to as many as 15 to 25 years.
Although you face substantial risk of time in jail or prison, there is still some flexibility in your sentencing. Having an aggressive and highly experienced criminal defense lawyer widens your chances of gaining the shortest possible sentence.
Never underestimate the importance of having an experienced criminal defense lawyer. For your Arizona assault case, call an experienced and aggressive criminal defense.