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Arizona Aggravated Assault Lawyer

Posted on November 9, 2023 in

If you’re facing an aggravated assault charge in Arizona, prepare yourself for a tough road ahead. In Arizona, aggravated assault is always a felony resulting in prison sentencing and fines upwards of $150,000 plus an 83% surcharge. Additionally, you’ll face challenges financially, professionally, and personally for many, many years. Aggravated assault charges in Arizona are taken very seriously.

At Snader Law Group, we have experience with Arizona aggravated assault lawsuits. We can assist you or a loved one with aggravated assault legal difficulties. Our trusted Arizona aggravated assault lawyer knows Arizona law and has a track record of defending clients.

An aggravated assault charge can be scary, but you’re not alone. Snader Law Group will help you through this difficult scenario. We understand Arizona’s complex legal system and will fight for your rights and the best outcome. Snader Law Group will represent you in Arizona aggravated assault charges. 

Our dedicated lawyers will fight for your rights and assist you get the best case resolution. Reach out to us today to discuss your situation and explore your options. Your future matters to us, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

What is Aggravated Assault?

Assault is defined as “the crime of attempting or threatening to do serious bodily harm to another person, or to cause that person to fear bodily harm.” Aggravated assault is assessed by the severity of the crime and is determined by examining the totality of circumstances surrounding the assault. 

Circumstances may include the use of a weapon, serious injury, or disfigurement. You may even be charged with aggravated assault if you threaten someone with a gun or another weapon.

Arizona Laws and Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault charges in Arizona are taken very seriously. According to ARS 13-1204, a person may be found guilty of felony assault or aggravated assault if they:

  • Cause serious physical injury to another
  • Use a deadly weapon or dangerous object as a weapon
  • Commit assault using any force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, loss or impairment of any bodily organ or body part, or fractures of any body part
  • Commit assault while a victim is bound, physically restrained, or while the victim’s capacity to resist the assault is substantially impaired
  • Commit assault after entering the private residence of another with the intent to commit assault
  • Are 18 years of age or older, and they commit assault on a child who is under the age of 15
  • Commit a simple or misdemeanor assault while violating a valid order of protection or restraining order
  • Gain control or attempt to gain control of a police officer’s firearm or other weapon
  • Commit any assault against a police officer, peace officer, constable, firefighter, emergency treatment paramedic, teacher, school employee, or licensed health care professional engaging in their occupational duties, public defender or criminal prosecutor

What are the Consequences of an Aggravated Assault in Florida?

The consequences of an aggravated assault charge can yield a long-standing impact on one’s personal and professional lives. In many cases, the consequences have a drastic effect on earning potential, employment opportunities, and family dynamics. Some of the most severe consequences include:


In the state of Arizona, all felony assault charges carry prison sentencing if convicted in Arizona. The length of the sentence is determined by the nature of the crime. Extended prison time means losing exposure to family, friends, and loved ones, making it hard to maintain bonds and relationships.

Aggravated assault is a crime in Arizona. Aggravated assault can result in probation or long prison sentences. However, each case’s facts determine the minimum aggravated assault penalty.

Aggravated Assault as a Class 6 Felony

Aggravated assault as a Class 6 felony, the least serious, usually carries probation. However, if a lethal weapon or severe injuries were involved, the court may sentence you to prison.

Aggravated Assault as a Class 5 Felony

The minimum sentence for aggravated assault as a Class 5 felony can range from probation to 6 months in jail or 9 months in prison, depending on the situation.

Aggravated Assault as a Class 4 Felony

The minimum punishment for severe assault, a Class 4 felony, can range from 1 year in jail or 1.5 years in prison to 3.75 years in prison, depending on the situation.

Aggravated Assault as a Class 3 Felony

A Class 3 felony for aggravated assault has a minimum jail sentence of 2 years to 8.75 years. However, using a lethal weapon or causing serious physical injury may increase the minimum term to 5 years in prison.

Aggravated Assault as a Class 2 Felony

Class 2 felonies for serious assault carry a minimum prison penalty of 4 to 12.5 years. Aggravating elements may increase the minimum sentence to 7 years in jail.

Aggravated Assault as a Class 1 Felony

A Class 1 felony, the most serious type of violent assault, can result in a minimum 10-year to life sentence. If aggravating factors are present, the minimum sentence may be increased to life without parole.

Financial Stress

Aggravated assault charges often include fines of up to $150,000. You may also be ordered to pay restitution or monetary amends to the victim in an amount determined by the court. These staggering fees often take years to pay off, making it challenging to meet other necessary financial obligations.

Adverse Effect on Employment Opportunities

A felony assault charge results in having a permanent criminal record, an automatic disqualifier when pursuing employment. A criminal record permanently limits the economic opportunities and earning potential that an individual has once a conviction is made.

Loss of Basic Rights

In addition to the above consequences, convicted felons cannot vote, serve on a jury, or own a firearm.

Aggravated assault is not taken lightly in Arizona. If you face aggravated felony assault charges, it is prudent that you contact our law offices today at (602) 899-3720 to discuss how we can best help you protect your rights.

What’s the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault?

Arizona charges assault as a misdemeanor or felony. Understanding the factors that determine the charge’s severity is crucial. 

Our experienced aggravated assault lawyer can explain how Arizona law distinguishes these counts. The more serious charge of aggravated assault may result from:

  • Assault resulting in a severe injury
  • Assault with the intent to commit robbery, rape, or another felony
  • Assault against specific protected groups, including police officers, healthcare providers, teachers, social services workers, minors, the developmentally disabled, the elderly, and more
  • Assault occurring during a home invasion
  • Assault on a person who has been physically bound or restrained
  • Assault while violating a protection order
  • Threatening someone with a firearm or pointing a gun at them
  • Striking or threatening another person using a weapon or any dangerous object

How Can I Determine the Difference Between Misdemeanor Assault and Aggravated Assault?

How dangerous the weapon is determines whether an assault is simple or aggravated. Simple assaults rarely use weapons. In a fistfight, someone uses their body to hurt another. 

However, aggravated assault uses a more lethal weapon, increasing the risk and severity.

What Are the Different Classes of Aggravated Assault Felonies in Arizona?

Arizona classifies aggravated assault offenses by severity based on the incident. These classes range from Class 2 to Class 6, with Class 2 being the most severe. 

Even as the class decreases, the consequences remain significant. Here’s a quick overview of these classes in Arizona:

Class 2 Felonies

Arizona’s most serious aggravated assault counts are Class 2. These situations include intentional bodily injuries that can have a lifelong impact on the victim.

Class 3 Felonies

Class 3 offenses involve assaults with deadly weapons or objects. Even if the victim wasn’t seriously injured, firearms, knives, or other weapons may have been used. Class 3 offenses include assaults on under 15 years of age.

Class 4 Felonies

Police officers, firefighters, teachers, healthcare personnel, and prosecutors are often victims of Class 4 offenses. The seriousness of the charge increases when these individuals are targeted while performing their official duties.

Class 5 Felonies

Class 5 offenses involve assaults despite court-issued orders of protection. These orders protect people from injury or harassment. Class 5 felonies also include cases where the victim’s ability to defend themselves was compromised, like incidents involving physical restraint.

Class 6 Felonies

Arizona’s least severe aggravated assault is Class 6, yet the repercussions are serious. Intentional physical harm, regardless of severity, frequently results in these accusations. In this classification, intent in causing harm counts more than injury severity.

What Are the Elements of Aggravated Assault?

Arizona defines aggravated assault by case circumstances. Aggravated assault involves intentional harm or threats, frequently with aggravating elements. Here are some basic elements that can make up aggravated assault in Arizona:


Aggravated assault requires the desire to injure another person. They may use a weapon or engage in dangerous activity to demonstrate their desire.

Bodily Harm

Aggravated assault includes causing significant physical harm to the victim. Physical injury is any bodily harm, but major physical injury poses a significant danger of death, permanent disfigurement, or organ or function impairment.

Deadly Weapon

A firearm, knife, or other weapon that can kill or injure can make a simple assault aggravated. An aggravated assault can occur even with a weapon.

Other Factors

In some locations, additional conditions can make a regular assault escalated. These factors can include the victim’s status, such as if they are a police officer or public servant, the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, such as in domestic violence cases; or the situation in which the assault occurred, such as during another crime.

Aggravated assault has major legal repercussions. Imprisonment, fines, probation, and a criminal record are possible penalties. Different elements determine penalty. Our experienced criminal defense attorney can clarify Arizona’s minimum aggravated assault penalty.

What is Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon?

Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is a felony where the person uses or threatens to use a lethal weapon during the attack.

Who is Prohibited From Gun Ownership in Arizona?

  • If you have a felony conviction without a restored right to possess a gun
  • While you are incarcerated
  • If you are on probation for domestic violence
  • If you are an undocumented alien
  • If a court has determined you are a danger to yourself or others
  • If you have been adjudicated as incompetent or insane

What Are Deadly Weapons?

Under Arizona law, felony assault with a deadly weapon involves both a “deadly weapon” and a “dangerous instrument” (A.R.S. 13-1204). According to Arizona law, A.R.S. 13-105 (15), something is considered a “deadly weapon” if it is designed to be fatal or capable of causing death.

Examples of deadly weapons include handguns, assault weapons, nunchakus, brass knuckles, daggers, machetes, explosives, combat knives, or knives with deadly blades. If they employ a “dangerous instrument” or mimicked weapon, they can be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

A “dangerous instrument” is defined in A.R.S. 13-105 (12) as something that, when used or threatened to be used, could cause death or serious injury in certain situations. Items that aren’t designed to kill but can be deadly in certain circumstances include hockey sticks, baseball bats, hammers, box cutters, screwdrivers, and bricks.

A car can be a lethal weapon or dangerous instrument if an intoxicated or drugged driver causes a fatal accident (A.R.S. 13-1204).

What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault With a Deadly Weapon in Arizona?

Aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon is a Class 3 felony in Arizona. This charge can result in a 5- to 15-year jail sentence and up to a $150,000 fine (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13-1204, 13-701, 13-704, 13-801).

Aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon against a peace officer, prosecutors, or a minor is a Class 2 felony. This violation can result in 7–21 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000 (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13-1204, 13-701, 13-801).

The court can also find aggravating factors like threats to the victim’s family and friends or a particularly hostile manner of committing the violation. Previous convictions may increase penalty. However, the court may consider mitigating reasons while sentencing. 

Age, legal background, cognitive capacity, and assault role are examples. Mitigating considerations may lower sentences in exceptional cases (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. 13-701, 13-704).

What is Aggravated Assault With Serious Physical Injury?

Aggravated assault with serious physical injury or disfigurement is a particular kind of assault. It involves intentionally causing severe bodily harm or disfigurement to another person. 

This is considered a serious criminal offense, distinct from simple assault. Arizona defines this type of aggravated assault with the following elements:


The person responsible for the assault must have intended to harm someone else. This intent can encompass causing serious physical injury or disfiguring the victim.

Severity of Injury

The victim must suffer serious physical harm. This can include fractured bones, major wounds, internal injuries, and other injuries that require considerable medical treatment.


Alternatively, the assault could involve intentionally causing disfigurement. Disfigurement means making a lasting change to the victim’s physical appearance, like through scarring or mutilation.

What is Serious Physical Injury Under Arizona Law?

An attack that causes substantial physical injury can be elevated to aggravated assault in Arizona. ARS 13-105 defines a physical injury as serious if it produces a realistic risk of death, causes serious and permanent deformity, causes substantial health difficulties, or loses or impairs a body organ or limb.

This definition encompasses a broad range of injuries. For instance, even a cut to the ear that leaves a permanent scar can be categorized as a serious physical injury.

What Are the Penalties for an Aggravated Assault Resulting in Serious Physical Injury?

In Arizona, individuals convicted of aggravated assault typically receive a standard prison sentence, as outlined in Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 13 in the Arizona Revised Statutes. However, various circumstances might affect the prison sentence, which can range from minimum to maximum. Such factors may include:

  • Use of a weapon or dangerous instrument in the assault
  • Prior convictions of the alleged offender
  • Involvement of a minor under 18 in the assault
  • Resulting death or serious bodily injury from the assault
  • Presence of mitigating circumstances
  • The victim’s pregnancy at the time of the assault

Aggravated assault resulting in serious physical injuries or disfigurement is typically a felony in many places, and it comes with harsh penalties.

What Are the Possible Defenses to an Aggravated Assault Charge?

If you face aggravated assault charges, you have several legal defenses at your disposal. These defenses may include claiming self-defense, demonstrating the absence of an immediate threat, or citing violations of your Miranda Rights.


You may say you defended yourself during the assault. If the other person made an aggressive action toward you first, and you reacted to protect yourself, you may have accidentally injured the victim. 

You can argue that your force was justifiable if you responded to a threat. Even though this is a popular defense, our Arizona aggravated assault attorney is essential. We can obtain persuasive physical evidence and eyewitness testimony for your case.

Absence of an Immediate Threat

Another defense is that no threat existed. The victim thinks they’re in danger but aren’t. You must prove that the other person had no reason to feel uncomfortable or that the perceived threat didn’t exist to employ this defense for aggravated assault. This is difficult to prove without a detailed understanding of Arizona’s criminal laws and processes.

Violations of Your Miranda Rights

Another potential defense to an aggravated assault charge is claiming a violation of your Miranda Rights and other constitutional rights. Arizona law requires police to give Miranda rights to aggravated assault suspects. 

You may have been pressured to make self-incriminating remarks without your rights read. If you were denied legal representation when arrested, you could utilize that as a defense.

Defending Your Rights in Aggravated Assault Cases in Arizona

When it comes to facing aggravated assault charges in Arizona, Snader Law Group stands as your dependable ally. Our skilled Arizona aggravated assault lawyer understands the intricacies of the law, offering a shield for your rights throughout the legal process.

We have legal experience in handling complex assault cases, using our knowledge to craft robust defense strategies. With a commitment to preserving your constitutional rights, we leave no stone unturned in building a solid defense. If you or a loved one find yourselves entangled in an aggravated assault situation, trust Snader Law Group. 

We’re here to guide you through the legal maze, working tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your case. Our legal team can also represent you in Sex Crimes, Domestic Violence, Violent Crimes, and Drug Crimes. Your future is important to us, and we’re dedicated to helping you every step of the way.