The state of Arizona differentiates between misdemeanor assaults and aggravated assaults with the latter carrying stiffer penalties; as it is judged to be a far more serious crime. The state has recently revised its criminal law statutes and may charge a defendant with assault and battery together or as separate charges. If you are charged with both, it could rule to a very lengthy spell of incarceration and retribution fees. It is also possible that you are hit with a probation charge or a restraining order. The different types of assault, as they are viewed legally in the state of Arizona, are detailed below.
Misdemeanor Assault in Arizona
In Arizona, there are three different classifications when it comes to misdemeanor assault:
- Class 1: The most serious classification; which can rule to a $2,500 fine and up to six months in prison. This is categorized as deliberately causing harm to someone.
- Class 2: Involves recklessly causing harm to someone and may also include a verbal threat to assault a person. This can rule to a $750 fine and four months in jail.
- Class 3: Is knowingly touching someone with the intent to cause injury. Conviction can rule to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.
Aggravated Assault in Arizona
This offense involves causing actual physical harm or threatening to cause harm and can include charges of assault with a deadly weapon, when a gun or knife is involved in the attack. If you assault an on-duty city official, such as a firefighter or police officer, the penalty is already more harsh. In Arizona, there is a strict line taken against adults over 18 years old attacking minors under the age of 15.
There are a large number of different factors that can decide the severity of a charge, but in some situations, you could be accused of a Class 5 Felony or potentially a Class 2 Felony. However, most aggravated assaults that fall into the ‘felony’ category are also Class 2 and this carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Battery in Arizona
This is defined as the use of force after the threat or act of physical violence. As a consequence, a battery charge often follows an assault charge and they can be charged to a defendant as separate offenses. For example, if you are involved in an argument and threaten to physically assault a person, after following by and committing the act of violence, you could be charged with assault and battery. In this example, the ‘assault’ is when violence is implied and the ‘battery’ is when the defendant commits a physical attack afterwards.
If you are charged with assault and/or battery in the state of Arizona, you need a skilled attorney on your side. In many instances, the case hinges on the alleged victim’s interpretation of events and nothing else. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can develop an aggressive strategy to defend you against the charges, because if it comes down to a ‘my information against his’ situation, there is the possibility that the jury rules in favor of the victim, especially if you don’t have sound legal counsel fighting on your behalf.