Aggravated Assault FAQs
Facing allegations of a violent crime can be overwhelming. And if you’re charged with aggravated assault, the situation is about as serious as they come. However, there’s a long way between an arrest and a conviction, and at the Law Office of James E. Novak, we know how to stop the prosecution in its tracks. For more than 20 years, we’ve been defending the rights and freedom of clients charged with felony assault, helping them move past their arrest and on with their lives. Over this time, we’ve also come to learn that many of our clients have a lot of questions about their charges, which is why we put together this list of aggravated assault FAQs.Aggravated Assault Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about the crime of aggravated assault, review the following aggravated assault FAQs. If you have additional questions, give us a call to schedule a free consultation.
- What is an Assault?
- What Turns an Assault into an Aggravated Assault?
- What Is the Punishment for Aggravated Assault in Arizona?
- Can Aggravated Assault Charges Get Reduced to Misdemeanors?
- Do You Still Have Unanswered Questions About Your Aggravated Assault Charges?
There are a few ways someone can commit an assault. Under A.R.S. § 13-1203, assault charges can be based on 1.) any contact that was intended to cause physical injury to another person, 2.) intentionally placing another person in fear of imminent physical injury, or 3.) knowingly touching another person to injure, insult or provoke them. These actions make up the crime of simple assault, which is a misdemeanor. However, if one or more aggravating circumstances apply, the offense turns into an aggravated assault.
Arizona’s aggravated assault law is contained in A.R.S. § 13-1204. This statute provides that an aggravated assault occurs when someone commits a simple assault and any of the following circumstances apply:
- The assault resulted in serious bodily injury;
- The assault involved the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;
- The assault resulted in disfigurement, a broken bone, or compromised organ function;
- The assault occurred while the alleged victim’s freedom of movement was restricted;
- The assault took place in another’s home;
- The alleged victim was under 15, and the defendant was 18 or older;
- The alleged victim had a valid order of protection against the defendant;
- The alleged victim was a police officer, prosecutor, teacher, healthcare worker or a member of another protected class of individuals.
Strangulation is also considered aggravated assault if the defendant and the alleged victim are currently or were ever married, lived together, were related by blood or marriage or have a child in common.
In Arizona, aggravated assault is always a felony. However, there are several degrees or classes of aggravated assault, ranging from a Class 6 felony to a Class 2 felony. For example, causing serious physical injury to another person is a Class 3 felony unless the alleged victim was a prosecutor or under the age of 15, in which case it is a Class 2 felony.
Yes, it is possible to convince the prosecution to amend the charges, reducing an aggravated assault to a misdemeanor assault. Of course, prosecutors are very hesitant to reduce charges, especially when they are violent in nature. However, an experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney may leverage mitigating information about the defendant and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to make a strong case for a reduction in charges.
If you’ve been charged with a violent crime, it’s to be expected that reviewing these aggravated assault FAQs might raise additional questions. If so, don’t hesitate to give the Law Office of James E. Novak a call to schedule a free consolation. We are more than happy to listen to the facts of your case and answer whatever questions you have. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 480-413-1499 or connect with us through our online contact form.