First-Time Assault Attorney in Scottsdale
Assault charges in Scottsdale, Arizona, can arise from various actions, including physical contact like pushing or hitting and verbal threats. Often, individuals may face such charges even when their behavior is non-assaultive or in self-defense. Convictions can result in significant penalties, such as a criminal record, jail time, fines, classes, and loss of rights such as gun rights.
If you are charged with a first-time assault in Arizona, it’s important that you contact an attorney immediately. When you hire our law firm, you'll work with an experienced attorney who is dedicated to protecting your rights. We offer free consultations to help you determine what your next steps need to be.
What Are The Types of First-Time Assault Charges in Arizona?
In Arizona, the classification of assault crimes is in Chapter 12 of Title 13 of the criminal code. This part of the legal framework categorizes and outlines various forms of assault, including:
- Simple Assault/ Misdemeanor Assault: This involves causing physical harm to someone, intentionally making someone reasonably fear immediate physical injury, or touching someone with the intention of causing insult or provocation. These are typically lesser forms of assault, punished less severely than felony assaults, but still carry significant consequences.
- Aggravated Assault: This is a more serious form of assault that includes factors that elevate the offense to a felony. These factors can include causing serious physical injury, using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, committing the assault after entering the private home of another, or assaulting a protected class of persons such as police officers, teachers, health care practitioners, and others.
- Reckless Endangerment: This crime involves putting another person at substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury. Endangerment can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the risk posed to the victim.
- Threatening or Intimidating: This category covers making threats or intimidation that cause a person to fear for their safety. This can include threats of physical harm, property damage, or any action that disturbs the peace of another person. It's considered a serious offense, and depending on the nature of the threat, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
- Domestic Violence: This is an added label to an assault crime when it occurs between individuals who are in a domestic relationship, such as the following:
- Former spouses
- Individuals related by blood or marriage
- Individuals living together
- Individuals who have a child together
- Individuals who are pregnant by the other partner
Domestic violence can encompass a wide range of offenses, from physical abuse to threats or intimidation. The designation of domestic violence can enhance the penalties of the underlying offense. It may carry additional consequences such as mandatory treatment programs, loss of gun rights, and potential impact on child custody.
Each of these crimes carries its own set of penalties and consequences, ranging from fines and probation to imprisonment. It is crucial for anyone charged under these provisions to understand the serious nature of these offenses and seek legal counsel.
Punishments for a First-Time Simple Assault Charge in Arizona
A first-time simple assault can be classified as a class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanors if it's not considered aggravated. Here are some possible penalties for a first-time assault charge in Arizona:
- Class 3 Misdemeanor: Generally, a conviction for simple assault based on intentional touch meant to injure or provoke is charged as a class 3 misdemeanor and may result in up to 30 days in jail, possible probation of up to a year, community service, anger management courses, victim restitution, and up to $500 in fines.
- Class 2 Misdemeanor: If the assault involves a threat of injury, it may lead to a class 2 misdemeanor charge which can result in up to 4 months in jail, possible probation of up to 2 years, community service, anger management courses, victim restitution, and up to $750 in fines.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: causing actual harm results in a class 1 misdemeanor charge and may carry a punishment of up to 6 months in jail, possible probation of up to 3 years, community service, anger management courses, victim restitution, and up to $2,500 in fines.
First-Time Aggravated Assault Penalties in Arizona
For a first-time aggravated assault, felony charges apply, usually as a class 3 or class 4 felony. A class 4 felony carries a potential prison sentence of 4 to 8 years, while a class 3 felony carries a possible jail time of 5 to 15 years. The consequences are harsher, increasing the likelihood of a prison sentence, even for a first offense.
Several factors can escalate a simple assault to aggravated assault, such as the following:
- If the assault results in severe physical injury or disfigurement, the charge could be aggravated assault, regardless of the initial intention.
- Using a deadly weapon to instill fear can also lead to the same charge.
- If the victim belongs to certain professions like law enforcement, teaching, prosecution, or firefighting, a first-time assault can result in aggravated assault charges.