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What makes an assault, aggravated?

Posted on October 26, 2019 in assault & violent crimes

How do you get charged with an aggravated assault? Almost nothing in criminal law sounds worse than an assault.  The word suggests an attack on another’s safety and wellbeing that has potentially left them incredibly hurt.  But that is just not the case in Arizona.  Arizona law treats “simple” Assaults as misdemeanors.

Breakdown of “Assault” charges in Arizona

Assaults, as described in Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1203 cover a wide range of behavior, but include:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person;
  • Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
  • Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke

Essentially, an Assault under Arizona law is an unlawful touching or making another person believe that you would unlawfully touch them.  All these offenses are classified as various levels of misdemeanors.  Assaults get serious, however, when they are aggravated by other circumstances.

Aggravated Assault charges in Arizona

Aggravated Assault, as described in Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1204 requires that an Assault is committed and is then aggravated by one of the following factors:

  • A serious physical injury was caused;
  • A deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used;
  • The assault caused temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss, or impairment of any body organ or part or a fracture of any body part;
  • The victim of the assault was bound or otherwise physically restrained or their capacity to resist was substantially impaired;
  • The assault was committed after entry into the private home of another with the intent to commit the assault;
  • The person committing the assault was 18 or older and the victim was under the age of 15;
  • If the assault involved a touching and the person committing the assault was in violation of an Order of Protection;
  • The victim was a:
    • Peace officer or person summoned and directed by the officer
    • A constable or a person summoned or directed by a constable engaged in their official duties
    • A firefighter, fire investigator, fire inspector EMS technician, or paramedic engaged in their official duties;
    • A teacher or other school employee and the victim was on the grounds of a school or grounds adjacent to a school;
    • A healthcare practitioner engaged in their professional duties;
    • A prosecutor engaged in their professional duties;
    • A code enforcement officer engaged in their professional duties;
    • A park ranger engaged in their official duties;
    • A public defender engaged in their official duties;
    • A judicial officer engaged in their official duties;
  • If during the assault the person takes or attempts to exercise control over:
    • A peace officer’s firearm;
    • Any weapon used by a peace officer;
    • Any implement being used by a peace officer;
  • If a person commits an assault while imprisoned or in custody and the victim is acting in their official capacity for the jail, prison, correctional facility, or police agency;
  • Using a simulated deadly weapon
  • Intentionally or knowingly impeding the normal breathing process or circulation of blood of another person by strangling them or obstructing their nose;

Aggravated Assault Conviction Consequences

Although each of these forms of Aggravated Assault are punished differently, they have one thing in common – they are all felonies.  A felony has the potential for prison sentences, sometimes mandatory ones, and lengthy probation terms.

Contact a Phoenix Assault Attorney Today

If you are charged with an Aggravated Assault you should not face that charge alone.  A felony conviction can ruin your life by depriving you of your ability to make a living, find housing, obtain loans, and more.  It can lead to financial ruin.  You need an aggressive team to help you get the best possible result in your Aggravated Assault case.  The AZ Defenders have decades of experience in handling Aggravated Assaults.  Call 480-456-6400 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.  The sooner you arrange to meet us, the sooner we can get you on your way to getting the best possible result in your case.

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