Assault cases are common offenses tried in court that can arise from a number of situations. Unfortunately, even misdemeanor assault cases can come with severe consequences if convicted, which is why it is vital to seek out an experienced criminal attorney like Matt Lopez to handle your assault case.

Misdemeanor assault

You can be charged with misdemeanor assault for a range of situations. Under the Arizona revised statues, you can be charged with misdemeanor assault for such offenses as:

  • Injuring another party intentionally or through reckless actions.
  • Threatening a person or intentionally causing a person to feel that they may suffer harm.
  • Intentionally poking, jabbing, or prodding a person with the intent to either harm the person or to provoke them to act.

When charged with misdemeanor assault, the case will be categorized as class 1, 2, or 3. Which class the charges fall into will largely depend on the level of aggression and violence of the act.

Sentences for misdemeanor assault

The level of severity of the penalties will also fall in line with the level of violence or aggression associated with the case. Some of the possible sentences that can be handed down for misdemeanor assault include:

  • Up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine if the charge for a class 3 misdemeanor which is often related to incidents that involve touching to provoke another person or insult them.
  • A class 2 misdemeanor for assault offense, where someone fears you will cause them harm, can result in a jail sentence of up to four months and a fine of $750.
  • A sentence of up to six months in jail, or up to a fine of $2,500, can be given for class 1 misdemeanor assault cases where you knowingly cause physical harm to another person.

Felony assault

A much more severe offense that you can be charged with is felony assault, which under Arizona law is called Aggravated Assault. For an assault charge to be upgraded to felony status, one of the following conditions will have to occur in conjunction with the crime.

  • The assault resulted in severe injury to the other party, such as disfigurement and fracture.
  • A deadly weapon, such as a firearm was used during the assault.
  • The victim was bound or restrained.
  • The offense occurred in the victim’s residence.
  • The victim was a corrections officer, police officer, teacher, prosecutor, park ranger, public defender, or a health care practitioner.

Sentences for felony assault

The sentences for felony assault will vary with the severity of the offense as well as whether or not it was a repeat offense. A first offense of a class 3 felony can bring a 5 to 10-year sentence. A second offense can bring a sentence of 10 to 20 years, and a third offense is usually between 15 to 25 years. Fines can range anywhere up to $150,000.

Mental state related to assault charges

There are specific mental states that will have to be present for you to be charged with a misdemeanor assault case. The mental states associated with misdemeanor assault charges include:

  • Recklessly: This term can be applied when someone knows that their actions can result in an offense and disregard the possible result of their conduct.
  • Knowingly: When being charged with many misdemeanor assault offenses, it will need to be proven that you knew your actions were criminal in nature and disregarded the consequences.
  • Intentionally: When you are deemed to have acted intentionally, it means that you engaged in behavior that you knew would result in harm to an individual.

Make sure that you are properly represented so that you can secure the best possible defense for your Tempe assault charge. Contact attorney Matt Lopez today to schedule your free consultation to discuss the particulars of your case.