KILLHAM LAW

How Are Assault Charges Defined In Arizona?


A simple assault is defined in Arizona as intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person. They will also commit assault if they intentionally place another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury, or knowingly touch another person with the intent to injure, assault or provoke the person. Normally, it’s considered a class I misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail, 3 years of probation and a $2,500 fine (plus surcharges). There’s also what’s called aggravated assault. A person commits aggravated assault if they cause serious physical injury to another person, or if that person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument in the course of the assault. If a person assaults any police officer, school official, firefighter, constable, judge, prosecutor, teacher, healthcare practitioner, or park ranger, then that would also be charged as an aggravated assault, which is a felony charge.

What Factors Can Enhance Or Aggravate An Assault Charge?

Aggravated assault occurs when significant injury is caused or a deadly weapon or other object is used during the assault.

Aggravated assault also occurs when:

  • assault causes physical disfigurement
  • an assault victim is bound or restrained
  • assault on a minor who is 15 yrs. old or younger
  • one enters a private home to commit assault
  • a police officer, firefighter or other officers are assaulted

Does The Alleged Victim Have To Be Physically Injured In Order For Assault Charges To Be Made?

A victim does not have to be physically injured in order for you to be charged with Assault. If it is proven that you had the intent to insult or provoke a person, then you may not have to even touch the victim in order to be charged with assault.

What Potential Defense Strategies Can Be Used In Assault Cases?

There are many potential Defense Strategies that can be used if you are charged with Assault.

For example:

  • Your actions were in self-defense or out of fear
  • You were reacting to a perceived threatening situation
  • State of mind of the victim and you at the time of the incident
  • “Necessity” Defense
  • Lack of evidence by the Prosecution
  • The involvement of outside parties or persons
  • Lack of witnesses
  • You were not the person who committed the act
  • Victim has a history of making unfounded claims, and is not a credible.
  • The police violated your Constitutional rights during charges, arrest, or thereafter
  • The victim provoked, threatened or intimated you to force a response
  • The event was completely accidental, and in no way intentional
  • The circumstances were unforeseen, unexpected or unpreventable

Our Office was recently able to successfully dismiss a client’s charges based on the defense that the incident was purely an accident. It is important to consult with an attorney immediately upon

Are There Any Diversion Programs Available For Assault Offenders In Arizona?

Some jurisdictions in Arizona allow a first-time offender charged with Assault to enter into a Diversion Program. These programs always include some form of anger management or domestic violence counseling, and payment of fines and fees assessed by the court. If the all of the requirements imposed by the Plea are completed, then the case will be dismissed. There would be no conviction recorded on the offender’s record.

Maricopa County has a program called Felony Pre-trial Intervention (FPIP). Depending on the specific facts of a case, there are certain crimes which a defendant may be eligible.

The advantage to entering the FPIP Program is that there is no Plea of Guilt entered in front of a Judge. This is referred to as Deferred Prosecution. If all of the requirements of the Program are completed, then the case will be dismissed. The advantage to completing the Program is there would not be a Felony Conviction on your record.

It is important to contact an attorney prior to your first court appearance, as the attorney will be able to advise you of accepting a pre-trial diversion plea or defending your charges in court.

For more information on Assault Charges In Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling the Killham Law Office (623) 428-8203 today.

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(623) 428-8203

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