Have you been accused of an assault crime and now face possible jail time? Then you need an experienced criminal defense attorney that understands the severity of your circumstances and will fight to protect your rights.
You also need a criminal attorney that understands how to defend you against the distinctive differences between simple assault charges and aggravated assault.
One of the most frequently charged offenses in Arizona? Assault. Often, Arizona assault charges are the result of a domestic dispute or disagreement. The penalties for a simple assault conviction can be severe, and can be even harsher if the assault is alleged to be domestic violence.
Misdemeanor assault charges, sometimes referred to as “simple assault,” in Arizona are defined in A.R.S. 13-1203 as:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
- Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
- Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
Domestic Violence Assault; Assault (DV)
Assault becomes a domestic violence offense when the assault is between people who live together. This also includes those who have a current or past romantic relationship, or are related. The Domestic Violence designation comes with additional enhanced penalties if convicted.
For example, a person can lose their right to carry a firearm if convicted of Domestic Violence Assault.
Due to the harsh penalties that can attach to an assault or assault (DV) charge, its recommended to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can review your case for ways to minimize the risk of conviction and lessen the potential consequences.
Assault Classifications Defined
Arizona law classifies misdemeanor assault charges into the following three categories:
Class 3 misdemeanor assault. Defined as: knowingly touching with intent to injure or provoke.
- A Class 3 misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail, a $500 fine plus surcharges, and up to 12 months probation.
Class 2 misdemeanor assault includes reckless conduct that causes physical injury to another or intentionally placing another in apprehension of injury.
- A Class 2 misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 4 months in jail, a $750 fine plus surcharges, and up to 2 years probation.
Class 1 misdemeanor assault. Defined as: intentionally or knowingly causing any physical injury.
- A Class 1 misdemeanor has a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail, a $2500 fine plus surcharges, and up to 3 years probation.
Additionally, if the assault is considered domestic violence, you will no longer be able to possess firearms or ammunition, and the conviction may be used against you in any Divorce or Child Custody Proceeding.
Moreover, you may have to pay restitution to the victim and participate in community service or other treatment programs.
Consequences of an Assault Case
There are other factors that may exacerbate or mitigate the consequences for a potential assault conviction. The outcome of the assault case may also be impacted by:
- Whether you have a criminal history, including prior assault or domestic violence convictions;
- The background of the alleged victim; and
- The nature and severity of the assault.
Potential Defenses to an Assault Charge
There are several potential defense strategies an assault attorney can explore to successfully defend against an assault charge. For example, a Phoenix assault attorney can argue you acted in self-defense or reacted to a perceived threat.
A criminal attorney can also argue that the alleged conduct was justified or done out of “necessity.”
And in every case, a good criminal lawyer will argue the prosecution’s case is weak and the evidence is insufficient to obtain a conviction, and look for Constitutional violations and other pretrial issues.
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Assault Attorney
An experienced criminal attorney can work with you to develop a defense strategy. Additionally, they will help evaluate the weight of the evidence, and negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. Charged with assault? Help protect your best interest by consulting with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney right away.
Contact the Lerner and Rowe Law Group today to schedule your free initial case evaluation. Our criminal lawyers have over 75 years combined experience in criminal defense, a board certified criminal law specialist, a team of former prosecutors, and have a commitment to help you through this stressful time.