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November 30, 2016

Assault vs Aggravated Assault: What’s the Difference?

Filed under: Assault — admin @ 9:00 am

shutterstock_290042057Much like the matter of manslaughter vs involuntary manslaughter, many people are not aware of the difference between an assault charge and aggravated assault charge, or they think that they are simply two ways of saying the same thing. In reality, these crimes are different and are treated differently by the criminal justice system. We’ll explain the differences between assault and aggravated assault, but neither of these criminal charges should be taken lightly. If you’re faced with assault charges, a defense lawyer who knows Arizona law will be critical to your defense.

What is Assault?

An assault charge can arise from a few different situations, each carrying with it different penalties in Arizona. The most obvious case of assault, of course, is when the accused has physically and directly caused injury to another person, which can result in a $2500 fine and up to 6 months of jail time.

An assault charge can also come from intentionally putting someone in imminent danger of physical injury, which carries a penalty of a $750 fine and up to 4 months in jail.

Lastly, even a simple touch, as long as there is intent to injure or provoke a person, can be considered assault and can incur a fine of $500 and a maximum sentence of 30 days of jail time.

These crimes actually fall into the category of misdemeanors, Classes 1 through 3, respectively. According to Arizona statutes, assault charges can also include endangerment or threats of physical injury.

What is Considered Aggravated Assault?

While an assault charge is a misdemeanor, aggravated assault is considered a felony charge. Aggravated assault is a Class 3 Felony, which, under Arizona law, can carry with it a prison sentence of 5-15 years for a first-time offense. A second offense increases the severity of sentencing to 10-20 years in prison.

There are several factors that can escalate an assault charge to that of aggravated assault, such as:

  • Causing serious physical injury to another person
  • Entering into another person’s private home with intent to assault
  • Using a deadly weapon or otherwise dangerous instrument
  • If the victim is assaulted while physically restrained or otherwise unable to resist
  • If the victim of the assault is a police officer, constable, firefighter, teacher, medical practitioner, or prosecutor
  • Seizing or attempting to seize a police officer’s firearm
  • Committing assault while in custody of a city of county jail, department of corrections or law enforcement
  • If the offender is 18 years of age or older and the victim is 15 years old or younger

These are serious crimes, so if you find yourself facing assault or aggravated assault charges, you’re going to need an aggressive defense to ensure your rights are protected under Arizona law. The assault defense lawyers at the Blumenreich Law Firm have the experience necessary to mount a strong defense and ensure that your rights are observed. Don’t face assault charges alone. Call us at (602) 252-2570 or contact us online today for a FREE case consultation.