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What constitutes criminal assault in the state of Arizona?

Arguments between people in Tempe can easily become heated, especially when passions or perceived criticism are involved. Each party to the argument hurl angry words at one another. Before too long one person or another is accusing the other of assault.

Threatening remarks

Under Arizona law, a person commits the crime of assault if they intentionally say something or do something that puts another person in reasonable fear of immediate physical injury. Many states in the U.S. recognize such threats as assault. This type of assault in Arizona is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Offensive touching

A person commits assault in Arizona if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly physically injure someone else. While some states may classify such a crime as “battery,” in Arizona this crime falls under the umbrella of assault. This type of assault is a class 2 misdemeanor However, under Arizona law a person also commits assault if they purposely touch someone with the intention of injuring, insulting or provoking that person. Note that the law only requires touching. While a punch to the face may certainly fall under this category, a mere poke may also apply. This type of assault is class 3 misdemeanor.

Learn more about assault in Arizona

The crime of assault may seem illogical at first. After all, it may seem overbroad to include threats or mere touching. Nevertheless, if you intended to harm, insult or provoke you could be charged with assault. Being charged with a crime such as assault can be frightening and intimidating, especially if you have never before faced criminal charges. Our firm’s webpage on criminal defense may be of interest to those who are facing assault charges or other criminal charges.