Aggravated Assault is defined as an assault under Arizona Revised Statute Title 13, Section 1203 committed with one of the enumerated aggravators laid out in Title 13, Section 1204. In Arizona, a person commits simple assault by intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person, intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury, or knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, assault or provoke said person. The simple assault becomes aggravated when one of the enumerated aggravators in Title 13, Section 1204 is present in addition to the simple assault factors.

Is Aggravated Assault Always A Felony Charge In Arizona?

Yes, aggravated assault is always a felony in Arizona. The degree of felony changes, however, depending on the aggravating factor or factors present in the assault. By way of example, an assault where the assailant causes a serious physical injury to another person is normally a class 3 felony. When the victim is a police officer, however, the crime automatically becomes the more severe class 2 felony.

What Factors Would Typically Enhance Or Aggravate An Assault Charge?

A simple assault charge will be enhanced to an aggravated assault charge when a person commits an assault with any of the circumstances enumerated in Title 13, Section 1204 present. Examples of the aggravated assault factors include, but are not limited to, whether the assailant caused serious physical injury, whether a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used, whether the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or EMT, and whether the person was in custody at the time of the offense.

What is Considered As An Assault With A Deadly Weapon?

Assault with a deadly weapon refers to any simple assault where the assailant uses a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument. The term “deadly weapon” is defined by Arizona Revised Statute Title 13, Section 105, as anything designed for a lethal use including a firearm. The law also defines “dangerous instrument” as anything under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used that’s readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.” Given the law’s broad terms, a person who causes a vehicle accident while driving a vehicle drunk can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Does An Alleged Victim Have To Be Physically Injured For An Aggravated Assault Charge To Apply?

One of the prongs of the simple assault statute make it a crime to “intentionally place another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.” For example, if you brandished a weapon without sufficient provocation, you could be held accountable for a serious felony, assault with a deadly weapon. As such, causing physical injury is not a pre-requisite to an aggravated assault charge.

How Does The Intent Of The Alleged Perpetrator Impact An Aggravated Assault Charge?

Each prong in the simple assault has a state of mind requirement. If you are being charged with waving a gun, for example, the prosecution must show that you intentionally placed the victim in reasonable apprehension of physical harm. The state’s burden is lower when the crime involves actual injury or contact to the victim. In the case of the injury, the conduct can be reckless (a car accident caused by a drunk driver, for example) for the State to get a conviction.

How Do The Degree Of Injuries Sustained Impact An Aggravated Assault Charge?

Serious physical injury includes physical injury that creates a reasonable risk of death or that causes serious and permanent disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or a loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ or limb. When this degree of injury is present, the crime is punished as a class 3 felony. Alternatively, lesser injuries are punished with lesser felonies. For example, if the victim suffers a simple fracture in a fist fight, the assailant can be charged with a lesser class 4 felony.

For more information on Aggravated Assault Cases In Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 794-4480 today.