Assault occurs when an individual recklessly, intentionally, and knowingly attempts to inflict serious injury to a victim. This also includes insulting, stalking, harassment, touching, and wounding, or physically assaulting the victim with full intent to cause serious bodily injury.
The penalties of assault charges include costly fines and imprisonment. This is why it is important to seek legal help and assistance from a competent Phoenix defense lawyer.
In Arizona, an assault may be classified as a misdemeanor or felony charge. It will depend on the degree of the criminal offense (whether it is classified as first degree, second degree, or third-degree) and on the circumstance of the criminal case.
An aggravated assault is a deliberate effort to inflict serious physical injury to another person while ignoring the value of human life. The use of a firearm or any dangerous weapon, the victim’s condition, the assailant’s motive, and the severity of the injury sustained are all aggravating factors.
Remember that the offenses may be aggravated if:
- The assault against another individual has caused serious bodily harm
- The perpetrator committed assault with a deadly weapon or firearm
- The assailant used force to cause very serious physical harm and temporary impairment, disfigurement, or loss of body part
- The assault was committed against a police officer, a peace officer, a law enforcement officer, or a firefighter
Legal defenses against assault cases
Given the complexities of the relevant statute, an accused offender who has been charged with aggravated assault may look into different possible defenses. In Arizona, the state bears the burden of evidence in proving the criminal offense. Here are the common defense strategies that can be used to dismiss the assault charge against you.
Under state law, self-defense is one of the common grounds for dismissing charges of assault. It is legal if you are defending yourself against an imminent or perceived threat. This implies that while you used physical force or you acted aggressively, you only did so to defend yourself right away.
Defending yourself is only recognized if the force used to defend yourself is fair and reasonable, relative to the possible danger. As a result, if anyone is about to punch you, you will punch him before he punches you. This is an acceptable response. However, stabbing the offender using deadly weapons or firearms is not appropriate.
Defending another individual or property
The right of self-defense is also applicable for those who are protecting other people. For instance, you see someone is being threatened or in apparent danger. In this case, you may intervene and protect the person with the necessary amount of physical force. This could also apply if you are defending your properties from robbery or burglary.
However, you are still constrained by the perceived assault. It must be an acceptable reason which ensures that the force you applied is not unreasonable in light of the other individual’s threats of physical assault.
Causation could also be used as a good defense strategy. It brings into question the reliability of the alleged relationship between the injury and the physical assault. It addresses the issue of whether the defendant inflicted physical harm.
If the alleged victim is under the influence, it can be claimed that their injuries were their liability or the injury could have happened even if the accused had not intervened. This is also a viable defense in criminal cases where an accident occurred in a crowded setting, casting doubt on the fact that the great bodily harm was caused by anyone else.
Validity of the evidence
Another effective defense is to call into doubt the credibility of the evidence and have it removed from the argument. This happens when law enforcement agencies gather evidence without an issued warrant of arrest.
Any information gathered without an arrest warrant may be omitted and hence not considered by the judge. In Arizona, it is one of the most fundamental laws and the prosecutor will find it difficult to negotiate against it. The state’s argument becomes more complex when the crucial proof is removed from the presentation.
Seek legal help from a trusted criminal defense lawyer
There are several strategies for an aggravated assault defense and the law requires the highest level of evidence before making a decision. This is why finding the right assault lawyer is crucial. A Phoenix criminal defense attorney will help you reduce or even dismiss the assault charges against you and defend you from false allegations.
Since there are so many variables to consider, it is best to have a defense lawyer with experience and knowledge to present your case with the best possible outcome.
Protect your legal rights. Contact our Phoenix criminal defense attorney for a free consultation.