Getting arrested for assault and facing a misdemeanor or felony charge does not mean you’re already convicted of a criminal offense. Aggravated assault differs from other assault charges as it is a serious crime punishable by imprisonment in Arizona. It is normal to feel scared and have a ton of questions in mind, but you will need to divert your energy to cooperating with your criminal defense attorney who will help craft a solid defense strategy for you.
Your legal defense, and how you plead in court, will impact whether you’ll face the consequence of prison time or hefty fines; whether you’ll be eligible for a reduced sentence, or if your case can be dismissed.
Cases of Aggravated Assault
Under the criminal justice system, assault charges refer to any actions that cause injury or harm to another person. Although the majority of charges constitute a misdemeanor case, assault can be raised to an aggravated assault felony if the perpetrator willfully or intentionally injures, insults, harms, or provokes the victim.
You may be found guilty of felony assault if the prosecution can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that your actions cause serious injury or harm through any of the following:
- use of a dangerous weapon such as a knife or firearm
- physical force leading to a substantial loss, disfigurement, or impairment in any part of the plaintiff’s body
- restraints on the victim while committing the attack
- trespassing or entering private property to enforce a premeditated assault
- assaulting a juvenile under 15
- Assault of local law-enforcement authorities such as police, emergency personnel, teachers, health care workers, prosecutors, and others
Legal Defenses for Assault Charges
If you are already arrested for aggravated assault charges, telling them your side of the story won’t reverse the arrest. Instead, think about how you can explain to your criminal attorney the events that transpired leading up to your arrest.
Here are a few defense strategies you can expect qualified assault defense lawyers to use to fight for your case:
Self-Defense. A common defense used by defendants is claiming that they acted out of fear of what the accuser will do to them. Under this defense, there is no guilt on the accused as the act of assaulting was a natural reaction to threat, provocation, or intimidation.
Lack of Evidence. Under this legal strategy, your legal representation will look for discrepancies between your version of the story, the alleged victim’s narration, and the evidence on hand. If the plaintiff claims that a weapon was used to hurt him, but the prosecution finds no proof of it or no witnesses can corroborate the story, then you have a strong chance at case dismissal.
Unfounded Claims. You may also defend your position by claiming that the victim is not a credible source and has a long record in the past for making unreliable statements. Moreover, if you were not the person who committed the aggravated attack, then you could be a victim of mistaken identity.
No Intent to Harm. One of the crucial elements for an aggravated assault conviction is proof of intent to harm. If you can show the prosecutor that the injury was only due to an accident or unintentional manner, then you may not have to face the penalties of a conviction.
Rights Violation. The alleged offender may have his case dropped if it can be proven that the police who arrested him violated his constitutional rights, or if any action of the other party from the point of arrest resulted in violating the defendant’s right.
As seen above, legal options are available for anyone being accused of or facing allegations for aggravated assault. In such cases, criminal defense attorneys become a valuable help in gathering the necessary information and evidence and looking at all angles of the story, before presenting it to the prosecution and court.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you are looking for a defense law firm to explore your possible defenses, make sure to look for one with a wide range of experience. The Law Office of Howard A. Snader, LLC, whose criminal defense attorney is an Arizona Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, has a record of successfully defending clients charged with serious violations.
Whether you are facing aggravated assault, misdemeanor assault charges, assault and battery, or assaults with a deadly weapon, you don’t have to feel defenseless. You have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. Don’t hesitate to get help. Call Howard Snader today for a free initial consultation.