Recklessly, intentionally or knowingly causing others to suffer physical injury may result in assault charges in Arizona. Sometimes, however, factors involved with the alleged offensive raise such charges to the level of aggravated assault, which may result in more severe penalties.
Therefore, it benefits those charged with aggravated assault to understand the offenses they face.
What is aggravated assault?
According to Arizona state law, aggravated assault occurs when a person commits assault under certain prescribed circumstances. The factors that make an alleged offense aggravated assault include the following:
- Uses a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon
- Causes serious physical injury
- Uses force that causes temporary and substantial disfigurement, body part or organ impairment, or fracture
- Enters the private residence of another person for the purpose of committing assault
- Involves a victim who the alleged offender knew or reasonably should have known was law enforcement or a peace officer, first responder, health care practitioner or teacher
Those over the age of 18-years-old alleged to have assaulted victims under the age of 15-years-old also generally get charged with aggravated assault.
What are the potential penalties for aggravated assault?
According to the Supreme Court of Arizona, the potential penalties people face if convicted of aggravated assault vary based on the level of the felony charge. Due to differing circumstances, the state charges this offense as a Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class 5 or Class 6 felony. A first-time conviction of Class 6 aggravated assault charge may result in sentencing to prison for between 18 months and three years. For a Class 2 felony of the same offense, however, the defendant faces imprisonment for between seven and 21 years.
Aggravated assault convictions often impact people’s lives, both in the now and in the future. Those facing such charges may consider all their available options to help build a defense aimed at preserving their freedom and futures.