What To Do If You Have Been Charged With Aggravated Assault
Assault occurs in Arizona when a person recklessly or intentionally attempts to inflict serious injury to another person. This can include a wide variety of actions, such as hitting, insulting, swearing, stalking, and harassing. Assault is classified as a misdemeanor, but will be a felony charge if it is aggravated by another factor, such as your relationship to the alleged victim or alleged use of a weapon. If you’ve been accused of assault or aggravated assault, you may be facing hefty fines, imprisonment, and other life-changing consequences. You need representation from an experienced Mesa criminal defense lawyerimmediately. Don’t try to resolve the issue on your own!
Assault vs. Aggravated Assault in Arizona
Arizona law classifies assault as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense. According to A.R.S. § 13-1204, assault is defined as when a person knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally provokes, injures, insults, or causes physical injury or harm to another person.
Examples of aggravated assault include when a person:
Causes serious physical injury
Uses a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun, or utilizes another dangerous object as a weapon
Causes temporary or permanent disfigurement, impairment of a body organ or body part, or fractures a bone
Assaults a victim who is physically restrained or impaired
Assaults a person after entering their private residence with the intent of assault
Is 18 or older and commits assault against a person who is under age 15
Commits a misdemeanor assault while violating restraining or protective orders
Attempts or gains control of a law enforcement officer’s weapon
Assaults a public worker including a police office, paramedic, school teacher, health care provider at work, or a public defender
This is not an exhaustive list but demonstrates some of the factors that can cause an assault charge to become aggravated. Aggravating factors can include motive; the victim’s condition, age, and/or occupation; use of a weapon; and the severity of the inflicted injuries.
Your attorney will work on your behalf to investigate the alleged situation so they can build a defense on your behalf. The state bears the burden of proof that you committed the crime, but there are many ways to defend against the charges. Some of the most common defenses and strategies against aggravated assault charges that your Chandler criminal defense lawyer may utilize include:
If you can demonstrate that you were defending yourself against an imminent or perceived threat and acted aggressively only to stop the threat, the charges of aggravated assault may be dropped. Your actions must have been fair and reasonable, relative to the potential danger. For example, if someone was about to punch you, but you punched them first, that would be considered reasonable. If you stabbed the would-be offender with a knife, your actions may be considered unreasonable and not be considered self-defense.
Defending Another Individual Or Property
Arizona law also allows for self-defense if your actions were to protect someone else who was being threatened or in imminent danger from another person, or if you were protecting your property. Your Apache Junction defense attorneywill need to prove that the force you applied was reasonable in relation to the imminent threat.
This defensive strategy can be effective in many circumstances because it questions the relationship between the injury the alleged assault. For example, if the alleged victim was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged assault, it might be reasonably assumed that they were liable for their own injuries or would have happened regardless of your intervention. This defense will rely heavily on the circumstances of the alleged incident.
Validity Of The Evidence
Your attorney can also doubt the validity of the evidence that is being presented or enable it to be eliminated from the case. A common example is when law enforcement gathers evidence without a warrant to search. If evidence is not legally valid, the judge may omit it from consideration, forcing the state to shift their argument.
Occasionally, cases can be thrown out if elements were mishandled. This includes not being read your Miranda rights at the time of your arrest, violations of protocol, legal paperwork not filed on time, and other procedural errors that affect the validity of the case.
Mesa’s Trusted Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Ready To Help You
Arizona law requires evidence and proof beyond reasonable doubt in order to convict. That’s why you need a trusted criminal defense lawyer who understands the law and has extensive experience with legal strategies. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can reduce or even dismiss the allegations that are being made against you.
If you’ve been accused of aggravated assault in Arizona, schedule your confidential consultation with Dove Law Firm, Mesa’s trusted criminal defense attorneys. We are ready to use our knowledge, experience, and skill to protect your rights while providing you with the strongest defense. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after arrest is one of the most important factors that will influence the outcome of your case. Dove Law Firm specializes in navigating complex cases for the best possible outcome. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can protect your interests after assault charges.
This blog is purely for marketing purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.