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What is the Minimum Sentence for Aggravated Assault in Arizona?

Every year, law enforcement officers arrest thousands of Arizona residents on assault charges. These incidents range from fights that get out of hand to attacks involving deadly weapons. Assault charges also range in severity, from misdemeanors to felonies. Sometimes, the courts deem an assault charge as aggravated assault, bringing with it a new set of charges and consequences the accused individual must face.

If you are facing aggravated assault charges, you may feel confused and terrified. These charges can seriously impact your right to freedom, ability to get a job, and even your ability to vote. Contact an experienced Scottsdale criminal defense attorney to prepare a strong defense and guide you through the litigation process.

What is Aggravated Assault in Arizona?

Aggravated assault charges are serious crimes in the state. They involve serious bodily harm to another person. All aggravated assault charges carry the risk of a prison sentence.

For an incident to be a case of assault, a conviction requires that proof beyond a reasonable doubt shows that the defendant:

  • Knowingly touched another person with the intent to harm or provoke them.
  • Intentionally placed another person in danger of imminent physical harm.
  • Knowingly, intentionally, and recklessly caused harm to another person.

Arizona law divides assault into three misdemeanor classes:

  • Class 3 Assault. The least serious misdemeanor classification for assault. To prove a case of Class 3 assault, the prosecution will have to prove that you touched someone with the intent to hurt or provoke them.
  • Class 2 Assault. Requires proof that you intentionally placed another person in danger of imminent physical harm.
  • Class 1 Assault. The most serious misdemeanor classification an assault charge can receive. If proof exists that you recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally caused harm to another person, it is Class 1 assault.

All three classes of assault are misdemeanors, rather than felonies. Aggravated assault charges are felonies, ranging from Class 5 to Class 2 based on the circumstances of the incident. An assault charge is aggravated if:

  • The assault causes serious physical injury or disfigurement to the victim.
  • An adult 18 years old or older assaults a child 15 years old or younger.
  • The use of deadly weapon or object in the assault.
  • The victim is a public servant, such as a teacher, medical professional, or law enforcement officer.

Even a first-time aggravated assault conviction can result in prison time. If you are facing aggravated assault charges, it is best to contact a skilled assault attorney in Scottsdale to discuss your options for defense and proper investigation.

Aggravated Assault Statistics

According to the 2017 Arizona Department of Public Safety’s annual crime report, there were 19,483 aggravated assaults reported in Arizona and 8,627 arrests on aggravated assault charges. Of these 19,483 reported assaults:

  • 5,219 involved a firearm.
  • 3,023 involved a knife or cutting instrument.
  • 5,002 involved another dangerous weapon.
  • 6,239 involved hands, fists, and feet as weapons.

What Are the Potential Consequences for Aggravated Assault Charges?

Aggravated assault charges range from Class 6 felonies to Class 2 felonies. Each class of felony carries a distinct set of consequences and varies based on the circumstances of the crime.

  • Class 6 aggravated assault is the least severe aggravated assault charge, punishable by 18 months to three years in prison.
  • Class 5 aggravated assault is punishable by two to four years in prison.
  • Class 4 aggravated assault is punishable by four to eight years in prison.
  • Class 3 aggravated assault is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • Class 2 aggravated assault is the most severe aggravated assault charge, punishable by seven to 21 years in prison.

If you are facing aggravated assault charges, you need a skilled defense attorney on your side.