In Arizona, there are two different levels of assault charges. One is a misdemeanor, and the other is a felony. While misdemeanors don’t seem as intimidating as felonies, being convicted will still leave you with an assault charge on your record. It doesn’t matter what kind of assault charge you’re facing – you’re going to need adequate legal representation.
Our law firm can defend you against charges of simple and aggravated assault. Don’t let these charges ruin your reputation or your future.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor, and it’s punishable under three classes. While the maximum jail time is lesser for misdemeanor assaults, you’ll also be forced to pay fines and restitution, as well as participate in any treatment or counseling programs that the judge deems necessary.
·Class 3 Misdemeanor Assault: Class 3 misdemeanor assault can be alarmingly vague. It’s classified as knowingly touching someone with intent to injure, insult, or even provoke them. Pushing someone in an argument might be considered a Class 3 misdemeanor if they decide to call police. This can be penalized by up to 30 days in jail, a year of probation, plus a fine of $500 plus surcharges.
·Class 2 Misdemeanor Assault: Class 2 misdemeanor assault is any deliberate action that would reasonably cause someone to fear for their physical safety. Swinging at someone who would have reason to believe you were intending to hit them would be considered Class 2 misdemeanor assault. This type of assault can come with up to four months in jail, two years of probation, and a $750 fine plus surcharges.
·Class 1 Misdemeanor Assault: Class 1 misdemeanor assault is a little more serious. This means knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causing any physical harm to someone. You’ll face this kind of charge for punching someone, or for throwing something that hits them, if you cause a mark, scratch or bruise of any kind. Class 1 misdemeanor assault can be punished by up to 6 months in jail, three years of probation, and a $2,500 fine plus surcharges.
Some cases may involve anger management classes, probation, restitution, court costs, and additional fines upon conviction. Even if you think that a short sentence and a small fine aren’t too awful, you’re probably going to be on the hook for a lot more than you suspect. Having a great lawyer defend you can drastically improve the outcome of your case.
Assault is bumped up to a felony under certain circumstances. Unless the incident would reasonably be interpreted by everyone involved as being minor, certain circumstances have a high potential of boosting the charge to a felony aggravated assault.
·If the victim is under 15 and the perpetrator is over 18.
·If a deadly weapon or anything that can be construed as a weapon is used.
·If the incident took place after entering someone else’s home.
·If the victim was unable to resist (due to being incapacitated, intoxicated, asleep, restrained in any way, etc.)
·If the injury was substantial in that it caused some type of disfigurement, bone fracture, or internal injury of any kind.
·If the injury resulted in significant bruising or bleeding and could be considered serious.
·If the perpetrator was aware of the victim’s status as a protected worker. Protected classes include firefighters, police, city employees, teachers, people who work for or in the courts, educators, and medical professionals.
There are a number of reasons a simple assault would be elevated to a felony assault, and some of them are highly specific or exist in semantics. Chances are, if there is even slight potential for a misdemeanor assault to be elevated to a felony assault, that elevation will take place in Arizona.
Do not speak to the victim and ask for them to drop the charges or report their story in a different way. Even if they agree to do it, they still don’t have that power. And, you could be charged with witness tampering — a felony. The government and courts decide whether or not changes can be dropped or changed. If the victim doesn’t agree, you can get in serious trouble for making contact with the victim, and this trouble will complicate your case. Don’t do or say anything until you speak to us.
The penalties for aggravated (felony) assault are much higher than the penalties for misdemeanor assault. Jail time is always a possibility, and since this charge is a felony, you can be looking at years in state prison rather than simply months in the county jail. Fines may also grow substantially, as will undoubtedly the list of fees you’ll encounter.
Most concerning is the loss of constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm or live ammunition. Felony convictions can significantly limit career opportunities by barring entry to certain fields. They can keep you from getting certain government benefits. And, they can even make it harder to get into college or trade school down the line.
Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony assault, we know how to help you. Call us or use our contact form to request a free consultation. We have over 17 years of experience defending both felony and misdemeanor assault cases. We understand that assault convictions can ruin lives, and we’re willing to fight to help you preserve your future.