Personal violence can have many different outcomes. When the victim dies, the killer is charged with murder or manslaughter. When the victim lives, the charge is assault or aggravated assault. The difference between the two is generally how serious the victim’s injuries are or the status of the victim. In the past year, Glendale, Arizona has had 178 counts of assault. By definition, aggravated assault is considered more serious than simple assault, and a person convicted of it is subject to serious penalties. One can fight off a potential conviction by hiring a Glendale aggravated assault attorney.
Under Arizona law, aggravated assault law is actually a two-part crime, involving two different statutes. First, there has to be an assault under section 13-203. Second, the assault has to meet one of the many aggravating conditions that section 13-204 describes.
Section 12-1203 defines an assault as one of three acts:
If you commit one of those three types of assault, the crime may be upped to aggravated assault if the action meets any of several aggravating factors laid out in section 13-1204.
An assault is aggravated if:
These criteria may convert a misdemeanor charge into a felony, for instance when simple assault becomes an aggravated assault. If a domestic violence accusation with any of the factors listed above is met, a Glendale domestic violence attorney can advise you on how to proceed according to State and Federal domestic violence laws.
An assault is also aggravated if the person committing it either does, or has reason to, know that the victim is any of the following:
Arizona’s aggravated assault law specifies a variety of other factors that raise an assault to aggravated assault. Among these are:
The punishment for aggravated assault varies considerably based on the aggravating factor in the specific case, which determines the class of the felony. The most severe penalties apply to class 2 felonies, with a prison sentence of up to 21 years. The least severe are class 6 felonies, but even these can be punished by up to 3 years in prison.
Defenses to aggravated assault charges range from the general defenses of police misconduct and violations of the defendant’s constitutional rights to very specific arguments that the facts of the case don’t satisfy the elements of the crime.
Factual defenses essentially say that, whatever happened, the incident didn’t involve the necessary aggravating factor (see above) that the state has charged. Among the most common factual defenses are:
Aggravated assault is a very serious charge. It’s best to get an experienced Glendale defense attorney involved as soon as possible, because every statement you make to the police–even at the beginning stages of the case, and no matter how innocent they seem to you—can come back to haunt you. You really need to talk to a defense lawyer before talking to anyone else.
A criminal defense attorney in Glendale, Craig Orent, knows Arizona criminal law from every angle. He has worked as a prosecutor and a public defender in both state and federal courts and brings decades of experience handling criminal cases of all types. A Board-Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, Craig has been ranked one of the nation’s top 100 criminal defense lawyers by the American Society of Legal Advocates, one of the top 100 trial attorneys by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and holds a 10 out of 10 rating from Avvo. Call today and get your defense started on the right foot.