Assault and other violent crimes are typically felonies with long prison sentences imposed on those convicted of a violent offense. Chances of probation or parole are also often less likely if the accused is thought to pose a danger to others. Just because you have been arrested and charged with a violent crime, you do not need to give up hope of fair treatment. Prosecutors often file heavier charges than the evidence supports, and a defendant may have one or more defenses available. At Blumberg & Associates, our Phoenix violent crimes attorneys take a hard look at the evidence and facts surrounding your case, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case and your defenses. We’ll advise you of your options and provide a strong, effective defense of the charges against you. See below for more information about violent crimes in Arizona and contact Blumberg & Associates if you’ve been charged with assault or another violent crime in the greater Phoenix area.
WHAT IS THE CRIME OF ASSAULT IN ARIZONA?
Arizona statute 13-1203 defines assault in one of three different ways:
Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
An offense in paragraph 1 that is “intentional or knowing” is a class 1 misdemeanor, while an offense that is “reckless” is a class 2 misdemeanor. Similarly, a violation of paragraph 2 is a class 2 misdemeanor, and a violation of paragraph 3 is a class 3 misdemeanor. In Arizona, class 1 misdemeanors can be punished by up to six months in jail and fines up to $2,500. A person convicted of a class 3 misdemeanor can be hit with 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Much more serious is the crime of aggravated assault. Aggravated assault under Arizona law is an assault that occurs combined with one or more of nearly a dozen different aggravating circumstances. A few examples of aggravating circumstances are:
Actually causing physical injury
Using a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or simulated deadly weapon
The status of the victim (law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, judge, licensed health care worker, and others defined by statute)
Aggravated Assault is a felony. Depending on the circumstances, it may be charged as anywhere from a class 6 felony to a class 2 felony, with punishments including years in prison.
Other violent crimes in Arizona include:
Threatening or intimidating
Unlawfully administering intoxicating liquors, narcotic drug or dangerous drug
Dangerous or deadly assault by a prisoner or juvenile in custody
Prisoners who commit assault with intent to incite to riot or participate in a riot
A prisoner who commits an assault with a bodily fluid
Intentionally or knowingly causes a dog to inflict serious physical injury
Knowingly discharges a firearm at a residential or nonresidential structure
Aggravated and other violent crimes may also count as “dangerous offenses” under Arizona law. Dangerous offenses are those involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another person. Depending on the circumstances, penalties for conviction of a dangerous offense can range up to 35 years in prison.
In addition to jail or prison and fines, a violent crime conviction can affect your life in many other ways, including possibly the loss of your job or the loss of custody of your kids. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after a violent crime arrest to avoid the harshest penalties and achieve the best outcome attainable.
WHAT ARE SOME DEFENSES TO AN ARREST FOR ASSAULT OR OTHER VIOLENT CRIMES?
Some common defenses to assault charges are:
Defense of others
Defense of property
Lack of intent
Misidentification/wrong person arrested
Bruce Blumberg is a Board-Certified criminal law specialist who has handled thousands of cases and over a hundred trials. He has won many violent crime trials, including five first degree murder trials, and he has served as Appointed Counsel in numerous Maricopa County death penalty cases. At Blumberg & Associates, we’ll investigate all viable defenses and possible avenues for relief, and we’ll put forward a smart, strong defense to get the best outcome available in your prosecution.
HELP IS AVAILABLE AFTER A VIOLENT CRIME ARREST IN PHOENIX
If you’ve been arrested for a violent crime in Arizona, contact Blumberg & Associates to review your case with an experienced and successful Phoenix criminal defense attorney who specializes in Arizona criminal law.