If you have been charged with felony aggravated assault in the state of Arizona, you need to take your defense seriously. The ramifications of a conviction are life-changing and can affect your ability to gain employment or to own firearms while resulting in jail time and a criminal record. Since the penalties you will face depend on the circumstances of your case, retaining an experienced attorney can limit the financial impact on your life and reduce your sentence if you are convicted.
What Qualifies as Assault Under A.R.S 13-1204
If you have brought harm or injury to another person, regardless of intent, you may be charged with assault under A.R.S 13-1204. Whether you will face misdemeanor or felony charges will depend on what happened and the degree to which you have harmed the other party. The following can be considered aggravated assault.
- Attacking another person in any manner that results in an injury. The severity of the injury is usually taken into account when assessing the charges.
- Using any physical object or weapon to cause another person harm.
- Physically restraining another person prior to or during an assault. This includes situations where the victim is impaired and unable to defend him/herself.
- Visiting or coming in contact with a person who has filed a restraining order against you.
- Causing physical harm to a minor under the age of 15.
- Reaching for a police officer’s firearm or bringing physical harm to a police officer in any way.
- Attacking public servants, such as paramedics, firefighters, health care professionals, and teachers.
When being tried for aggravated assault, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. This means that it is possible to be acquitted or have your sentence reduced if the prosecutor is unable to prove that you committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in the minds of a jury. Lacking an experienced criminal defense attorney can result in you receiving a more severe sentence than you would have otherwise.
Possible Penalties for Aggravated Assault
There are five classes of aggravated assault, and each carries different sentences and fines. A Class 6 aggravated assault charge is considered minor while the most severe charge is a Class 2 aggravated assault charge. Following are each of these charges and the jail sentences you may face.
- Class 6 Aggravated Assault— If convicted of this charge, you may face up to three years in prison in addition to fines, restitution, and a criminal record. If it is your first conviction, you may face a minimum sentence of 18 months.
- Class 5 Aggravated Assault— Those convicted of a Class 5 aggravated assault charge face up to four years in prison. The minimum sentence is two years, and you may be subject to court costs, fines, restitution, and carry a criminal record.
- Class 4 Aggravated Assault— This charge is a bit more serious with a minimum sentence of four years. If given a maximum sentence, you would face eight years in addition to fines, court costs, a criminal record, and other fees.
- Class 3 Aggravated Assault— A Class 3 aggravated assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. If it is a first-time offense, you may be looking at closer to 7.5 years.
- Class 2 Aggravated Assault— This is the most serious assault charge that you can face. If you are convicted, you may spend up to 21 years in prison. The minimum sentence is seven years, but you are much more likely to spend ten or more years in prison if you are found guilty.
There are many factors that are considered when deciding what type of charges you face, along with the sentence that you face. Whether you have a history of criminal offenses can definitely work for or against you and the details of the victim play a part as well. You will face more severe penalties if the victim was a minor, a pregnant woman, or a public servant. Whether you used a weapon or not will also affect the type of charge you face.
The extent of the injuries is also considered. If the assault resulted in serious bodily harm or death, you will be facing a much more serious charge than if the victim’s injuries were minor and did not require hospitalization.
Learn More About Your Legal Rights
In the United States, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty of any crime. If you have been accused of a crime, it is important that you speak with an attorney before making any statements or admitting guilt. The representation you retain will have a marked impact on your case and the penalties you face.
Cates & Garvey Law Group has the experience and record of success that you need if you have been charged with a crime. You should not delay when seeking legal representation in this sort of situation, so we invite you to arrange a free consultation today by calling 855-965-4522.