Many people do not realize that they can be charged with assault, even if no injury occurred. Assault under Arizona law includes threatening or insulting behavior and actual physical harm, which covers a wide variety of actions. Unfortunately, you can be charged with assault even when you did not mean to cause harm to another person. It is their perception of the events that can lead to arrest and you could face prison or jail time, as well as a misdemeanor or felony on your record.
There are two different types of assault under Arizona law. Assault is a misdemeanor charge that can lead to a class 1, 2 or 3 conviction, depending on the type of assault. Under A.R.S. 13-1203, misdemeanor assault includes:
- Knowingly causing harm to another person, either intentionally or recklessly
- Deliberately putting a person into a situation that leads to the feeling that they are in immediate physical danger
- Any touch that is meant to insult, provoke or threaten another person
This vague interpretation of assault can include a wide variety of behavior. It is not just a physical fight; you can be charged with assault by simply grabbing the arm of someone or poking them in the chest. If they report that you were provoking or threatening them, you could be arrested for assault. Often, the “victim” is someone the accused knows and the assault charge is a retaliation. It can be associated with domestic violence, which can have more serious penalties.
Aggravated or Felony Assault
When serious harm is intentionally perpetrated on an individual, this can be aggravated assault, which can be a felony. This is a serious charge that has mandatory prison time, along with a felony that will forever remain on your record. Felony assault can include serious, intentional harm to another, but it can also include assault with a deadly weapon, any assault on a police or correctional officer, an adult harming anyone under 15 years of age, or assaulting a person that is restrained. This crime has severe penalties, with up to 15 years in prison, even for a first offense.
Fighting an Assault Charge
There are many times that those accused of assault are innocent or the situation was exaggerated by the accuser. Due to the serious nature of the crime, it is important to have legal representation to fight any assault charge. Even a misdemeanor assault conviction can mean time in jail and jeopardize employment opportunities for you in the future. You need an experienced attorney who can look at all angles of your case and help you get the charges dismissed or reduced.
At Matthew Lopez Law, we understand that not all assault charges are valid and we fight for our clients to prove their innocence. If you have been charged with assault or aggravated assault, call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our legal team. We will listen to your side of the story and discuss options to fight against an assault conviction. Our team has successfully helped many of our clients overcome assault charges and retain their freedom and reputation.