Aggravated Assault With a Vehicle

Arizona Law Firm Dedicated to DUI and Criminal Defense

If you were charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle, you should discuss your situation with seasoned Tempe DUI defense attorney James E. Novak. Mr. Novak may be able to counsel and represent you. As a former prosecutor who understands how the government builds its case and what might influence the outcome, he may have an edge over other law firms when developing your defense strategy for this serious charge. In these types of cases, you may face not only aggravated assault charges, but also drunk driving charges, and it’s important to retain an attorney who understands how to fight both.

Aggravated Assault With a Vehicle

You can be charged with committing aggravated assault if a Tempe prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed assault under section 13-1203 and certain other circumstances were also involved. One of the circumstances that can elevate an ordinary assault charge to aggravated assault is the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument while assaulting another. In other words, you could be charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle if you used your car or truck to:

  • Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly inflict physical injury on someone else
  • Intentionally put another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury
  • Knowingly touch someone else with the intent to insult, injure or provoke that person.

You could be convicted, for instance, if a prosecutor can prove you intentionally drove into a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Similarly, you could be charged if you developed road rage and tailgated a driver in order to provoke him.

When the victim of an aggravated assault was a police officer or a minor under age 15, you may face penalties for a class 2 dangerous felony. In other words, you could face up to 15 years in prison, and perhaps more. The involvement of alcohol will also be taken seriously. For example, if you were drunk driving and drove into a police officer controlling traffic and trying to wave you over, you could face penalties for a class 2 dangerous felony along with DUI charges.


Assault is often charged as a misdemeanor in and around Tempe. However, when it’s charged as aggravated assault with a vehicle, it may result in a felony conviction that carries prison time, fines, and counseling requirements. When it is charged as a class 3 dangerous felony, you can face a range of punishment of up to 8.75 years, with a presumptive term of 3.75 years.

In some cases, juries do decide a motor vehicle isn’t a dangerous weapon within the meaning of the statute. Still, if they decide it caused substantial disfigurement or serious injuries, the crime will be classified as a Class 3 non-dangerous felony. For a conviction, you could face probation with up to 1 year in jail or a prison term.

You will face harsher penalties if you have a criminal record and prior offenses.


The specific situation will determine how we can best defend your case. Our firm’s Tempe trial lawyer James Novak may be able to defend the case by showing you had no intent to frighten anybody with the car. Or we may be able to raise reasonable doubt about whether you were reckless by showing you weren’t aware of and didn’t consciously disregard a substantial and justifiable risk that a particular outcome would occur. In that case, the risk must be of a type and degree such that disregarding it would amount to a gross departure from a reasonable person’s standard of conduct. With these charges, when alcohol is involved, a prosecutor is likely to highlight your drunk driving to the court.

Retain an Experienced Aggravated Assault Lawyer

If you’re charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle, you may be worried about how the charges will affect you in the future. It is crucial to hire an attorney that understands your freedom is at stake. Seasoned Tempe assault defense attorney James E. Novak represents those accused of assault in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.