Aggravated assault is undoubtedly a serious felony charge that renders harsh sentencing if convicted in the state of Arizona. Before examining the litany of consequences, it is first necessary to understand how aggravated assault is defined and determined. A common misconception is that it is classified by a specific type of assault. Assault is defined as “the crime of attempting or threatening to do serious bodily harm to another person, or to cause that person to fear bodily harm.” However, aggravated assault is assessed by the severity of the crime and is determined by examining the totality of circumstances surrounding the assault.
What is Aggravated Assault?
Most states classify assaults as either simple or aggravated. Simple assault is commonly recognized as an attempt or threat to injure another person without actually striking them or causing bodily harm. Aggravated assault, however, occurs when the crime is escalated by use of a weapon, or takes place in certain circumstances. Many states classify aggravated assaults by citing four different degrees. Examples of aggravated assault range from striking or threatening another person with a weapon or other dangerous object and causing serious injury, to pointing a gun at an individual, or threating to kill an individual with a gun.
Arizona Laws and Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault charges in Arizona are taken very seriously. Specifically, a person may be found guilty of felony assault or aggravated assault if they:
- Cause serious physical injury to another
- Use a deadly weapon or dangerous object as a weapon
- Commit assault using any force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, loss or impairment of any bodily organ or body part, or fractures of any body part
- Commit assault while a victim is bound, physically restrained, or while the victim’s capacity to resist the assault is substantially impaired
- Commit assault after entering the private residence of another with the intent to commit assault
- Are 18 years of age or older, and they commit assault on a child who is under the age of 15
- Commit a simple or misdemeanor assault while violating a valid order of protection or restraining order
- Gain control or attempt to gain control of a police officer’s firearm or other weapon
- Commit any assault against a police officer, peace officer, constable, firefighter, emergency treatment paramedic, teacher, school employee, or licensed health care professional engaging in their occupational duties, public defender or criminal prosecutor
Consequences of an aggravated assault charge can yield longstanding impact on one’s personal and professional lives. In many cases, the consequences have a drastic effect on earning potential, employment opportunities, and family dynamic. Some of the most severe consequences include:
In the state of Arizona, all felony assault charges carry prison sentencing if convicted in Arizona. The length of the sentence is determined by the nature of the crime. Extended prison time means losing exposure to family, friends, and loved ones, making it hard to maintain bonds and relationships.
2. Financial Stress
Aggravated assault charges often include fines and fees of up to $10,000. Also, the charged may be ordered to pay restitution or monetary amends to the victim in an amount determined by the court. These staggering fees often take years to pay off, making it challenging to meet necessary financial obligations related to housing, utilities, and food.
3. Adverse Effect on Employment Opportunities
A felony assault charge results in having a permanent criminal record, an automatic disqualifier when pursuing employment. A criminal record permanently limits the economic opportunities and earning potential that individual has once a conviction is made.
4. Loss of Basic Rights
In addition to the above consequences, convicted felons cannot vote, serve on a jury, or own a firearm.
Aggravated assault is not taken lightly in Arizona. If you face aggravated felony assault charges, it is prudent that you contact our law offices today at (602) 833-1072 to discuss how I can best help you protect your rights.