The outdoors is a risky place. You will never know who or what you’ll encounter at any given time. There are times when some unfortunate people encounter others whose intent is to commit a serious crime towards them, causing very serious bodily harm confident that they can do the crime without a problem. However, some people falsely accuse someone of being an assailant, probably due to personal reasons or mistaken identity. If you are falsely accused of a crime of assault, a criminal defense lawyer would be able to defend you.
It happens when an assailant assaults another person with a weapon, causing serious bodily injury or injuries. Intentionally attacking someone with the motive of committing a serious crime like robbery or rape is also considered an assault. In some cases, if a statute regarding a relationship between the victim and the perpetrator exists (e.g. some territories who have statutes that protect clients from their service providers like a nurse to a patient) and was violated due to an attack towards a party, it is also considered as such.
Simple vs Aggravated Assault
From verbal threats to minor injuries and physical contact, simple assault is classified as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are punishable with small penalties or fines, or a mandatory minimum jail time. On the other hand, aggravated assault cases are classified as felonies and are punishable by imprisonment for a significant amount of time.
What is considered aggravated assault?
There are instances where a crime is considered as such. The following are common assault cases that fall under this category:
- Inflicts serious physical injury to the victim.
- Uses a dangerous weapon, firearm, explosive, or item to cause injury.
- Causes loss, dismemberment, disfigurement, or impairment of any organ or body part.
- Attacks the victim while restrained from resisting or defending oneself
- Assaults the victim after trespassing the latter’s property
- Commits to an assault of a person under fifteen years old.
- Attempts to poison another individual
What are other things to know?
In Arizona, some scenarios are also considered as aggravated assault or multiple cases thereof. Here are some of them:
- Assaulting a police officer, firefighter, teacher, medical professional, prosecutor, judge, etc.
- The offender causes physical injury or touches the victim with the intent of injuring the said person, whether recklessly or intentionally, and knowingly or intentionally blocks normal blood circulation or breathing of the victim. This act is also considered domestic violence under state laws.
- Committing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (e.g. a knife) may charge you with multiple counts of aggravated assault as the weapon may seriously injure, cause impairment, or cause death.
- Taking firearms or any weapon from a law enforcement officer, or attacking an employee or official of a correctional facility, county jail, state prison, detention facility, or any penal institution.
- Punching, touching, or threatening a police officer with the use of force and the intention of resisting arrest. This is considered a Class 4 or 5 felonies depending if the law enforcer has sustained any injuries.
What are the consequences?
If you are charged with assault, the prosecution must prove that you did assault the complainant and that the assault you did was aggravated. All types of aggravated assault charges including those mentioned above are still classified to other felony classes depending on their severity. Aggravated assault under any of the following circumstance have specific felony classifications:
- Using a deadly weapon or causing serious physical injury is considered a Class 3 Felony.
- Causing loss, dismemberment, or disfigurement is considered a Class 4 Felony.
- Other cases of aggravated assault are mostly considered as a Class 6 Felony.
Like what was mentioned, cases that are considered a felony have a punishment depending on the severity of the crime. If you are proven to be guilty of an assault charge, here are some of the possible things that you may face:
- Incarceration and imprisonment. Depending on your criminal history, the victim’s circumstances like age or profession, and the severity of the crime, jail time might be longer or shorter.
- Fines. You can be fined by the court a specific amount
- Community service. It is a part of the probation requirement where a defendant would work under organizations determined by the court.
- Victim compensation. Repayment of the victim’s medical bills and other expenses caused by the crime. Arizona does not have a Tort Reform or a statute that limits the amount the victim can receive as restitution.
It could restrict your movements after your conviction, even when you’ve proved you’ve turned over a new leaf. Changes in the way you travel within and outside of the country, purchasing rights of some items including firearms in general, even in securing a job will be evident. As such, working with a reliable criminal defense attorney in Arizona early on is beneficial to address allegations of criminal charges.
Wrongly being accused of being involved in a case of aggravated assault? Criminal defense attorneys would be beneficial in helping you prove your innocence and Snader Law Group can help you with that. Contact our Phoenix criminal lawyer and have your case evaluated for free.