Tucson Assault and Aggravated Assault Lawyers
We Will Fight to Get You the Best Possible Result
Have you been charged with aggravated assault? This is a serious charge, often requiring mandatory prison time if you are convicted. Call Nesci & St. Louis today to begin challenging the state’s case and give yourself the opportunity to obtain the best result possible. Even if you are not incarcerated, being convicted of a felony offense can affect your relationships, career, finances, ability to possess a firearm, right to vote and reputation. You may suffer the effects of a felony conviction for the rest of your life. You will have a criminal record that will impact final decisions when you apply for employment, loans, mortgages, or government benefits. The experienced lawyers at Nesci & St. Louis can help you understand your charges and plan and execute your best legal strategy to deal with this serious charge.
At Nesci & St. Louis, our team of skilled Tucson attorneys has nearly 40 years of combined experience. We know what needs to be done when an individual is facing serious charges. When you call us for a free consultation, we will listen to your side of the story and discuss effective ways of approaching your case. We will be focused on protecting your rights and acting in your best interest as we fiercely fight the allegations made against you.
To learn more about how we can help defend your case, call us at (520) 999-2441 today.
Understanding Arizona's Misdemeanor Assault Law
Arizona’s definition of assault covers many different acts. The statute contains acts which in many states constitute the separate crimes of assault and battery. What the state must prove to convict you of this crime depends on the type of assault you are accused of committing.
The crime of misdemeanor or “simple” assault can occur in three separate ways, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute A.R.S. §12-1203. An assault occurs if you:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause any physical injury to another person.
- Intentionally place another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.
- Knowingly touch another person with the intent to “injure, insult or provoke” them.
Under the first section, the state must prove that you recklessly caused an injury to someone else. Acting recklessly has a specific meaning in the law, under A.R.S. §13-105(10)(c): "with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard of such risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such as risk but who is unaware of such risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect to such risk.”
So, what constitutes a physical injury? Physical injury is defined in A.R.S. §13-105(29) as “the impairment of physical condition.” While that definition may not be helpful, by caselaw, causing red marks on an individual’s skin and causing them pain constitutes causing a physical injury. In court, before you can be found guilty, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were acting recklessly, and that you are the actual cause of the injury.
Under the second section, the state must prove that you placed another person in fear that they were going to suffer a physical injury, that this injury was imminent, and that their fear of injury was reasonable. A conviction cannot be based on you acting recklessly. Instead, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you acted intentionally. Pursuant to A.R.S. §13-105(10)(a): “Intentionally” or “with the intent to” means, with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, that a person's objective is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct. So, the state must prove that you acted with the intent to place someone in fear they would be injured, before you can be convicted of this type of assault.
Under the last section, the state must prove that you touched someone, and that your intent in touching them was to insult them, provoke them, or injure them. As noted above, it is not enough that you recklessly touched someone; the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you touched the person with a specific goal in mind to harm them, start a fight, or insult them.
Consult our experienced attorneys about your Assault charge today. Call Nesci & St. Louis today at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
Understanding Arizona's Felony Aggravated Assault Law
An assault becomes a felony or Aggravated Assault, when there is some factor that makes the assault more serious than a simple assault. Under Arizona Revised Statute §13-1204 there are a variety of ways that an assault can become a felony aggravated assault. A simple Assault becomes Aggravated Assault when:
- You cause a serious physical injury. Under A.R.S. §13-105(39): “Serious physical injury” includes physical injury that creates a reasonable risk of death, or that causes serious and permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of health or loss or protracted impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb.
- You use a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. A deadly weapon is anything designed to cause death, and a dangerous instrument is anything readily capable of causing death or serious injury (for example, a car) under the circumstances in which it was used.
- You use force that causes substantial but temporary disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss of use or impairment of any body organ or a fracture of any body part.
- The alleged victim was bound, restrained, or their ability to resist was substantially impaired
- You entered the private home of another with the intent of committing the assault.
- You are 18 years of age or older and committed the offense on someone under 15 years of age.
- You committed the assault in violation of a protective order.
- You knew, or should have known, that the alleged victim was in a certain profession, such as a peace officer, teacher, health care practitioner, firefighter, or judicial officer.
- You took, or attempted to take, a peace officer's firearm, or an object from the officer capable of harming or restraining someone, (other than handcuffs).
- You were in custody, jailed or imprisoned and committed and assaulted a law enforcement officer, guard, or facility employee.
- You used a simulated deadly weapon.
- You were in a familial or intimate relationship with the alleged victim that would cause the act to fall within the definitions in the Domestic Violence statute, §13-3601, and you intentionally or knowingly impeded the breathing or circulation of the alleged victim by applying pressure to their throat or neck, or by obstructing their nose and mouth.
Potential Conviction Penalties for Aggravated Assault
Aggravated Assault is a serious crime. Depending on the manner in which you are charged with committing Aggravated Assault, and, the age or occupation of the alleged victim, you will be facing a crime punishable as follows:
- For a Class 2 felony – 3 to 12.5 years in prison.
- For a Class 3 felony – 2 to 8.75 years in prison.
- For a Class 4 felony – 1 to 3.75 years in prison.
- For a Class 5 felony –. 5 to 2.5 years in prison.
- For a Class 6 felony – .33 to 2 years in prison.
Even if you are not sent to prison, a felony conviction can have serious consequences on your life. It can:
- Affect your rights to your children
- Limit the jobs you can hold
- Limit your rights to own or possess a firearm
- Limit where you can live
- Affect your relationships
Obviously, if you are charged with Aggravated Assault, you need to call the attorneys at Nesci & St. Louis right away.
Dangerous Nature Offenses
The most serious sentences for Aggravated Assault are mandated when Assault is committed using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Under A.R.S. §13-105(15): “Deadly weapon” means anything designed for lethal use, including a firearm. Under A.R.S. §13-105(12): “Dangerous instrument” means anything that under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury. Aggravated Assault based on committing Assault using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument can be charged as a “dangerous nature offense.” In those cases, the judge must impose mandatory prison time, as follows:
- For a Class 2 felony – 7 to 21 years in prison.
- For a Class 3 felony – 5 to 15 years in prison.
- For a Class 4 felony – 4 to 8 years in prison.
- For a Class 5 felony – 2 to 4 years in prison.
- For a Class 6 felony – 1.5 to 3 years in prison.
The most serious possible sentence occurs when either a serious physical injury is caused to a minor under 15, or a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used to assault a minor under 15. Under those circumstances, the crime is a class 2 felony, which is sentenced under the dangerous crimes against children statue, meaning that someone convicted of that offense is facing a mandatory prison term of 10 to 24 years.
Call Nesci & St. Louis right away to begin challenging the state’s evidence in order to obtain the best result possible in your Aggravated Assault case. To get started, call us at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online.
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