Each state has laws defining what constitutes the criminal offense of assault. To determine whether slapping someone is considered an assault in Phoenix, we need to look at Arizona state law.
This post will review Arizona laws on assault and aggravated assault. As you will learn, slapping someone will likely be considered assault in Phoenix, Arizona. The penalties for an assault can be harsher than you think.
However, you may have valid defenses to the charges against you. Speak to an experienced Phoenix assault attorney to understand the charges against you and how to protect yourself best.
What Is an Assault in Phoenix, Arizona?
Slapping someone may result in an assault charge. Arizona law broadly defines the offense of assault. A.R.S. 13-1203 states that a person commits assault by any of these three actions:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person.
- Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.
- Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke such person.
Arizona further classifies the offense of misdemeanor into three classes or levels based upon the severity of the crime. Each type of misdemeanor carries a different potential penalty.
Class One Misdemeanor
A class one misdemeanor may be the charge if a person intentionally or knowingly caused any physical injury to another person.
The penalties for a class one misdemeanor in Arizona may include up to six months in jail, three years probation, anger management classes, community service, restitution, and $2,500 in fines.
Class Two Misdemeanor
A class two misdemeanor may be the charge if a person recklessly causes physical injury to another person or intentionally puts another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.
The penalties for a class two misdemeanor in Arizona may include up to four months in jail, two years probation, anger management classes, community service, restitution, and $750 in fines.
Class Three Misdemeanor
A class three misdemeanor may be the charge if someone knowingly touches another person intending to injure, insult, or provoke them.
The penalties for a class three misdemeanor in Arizona may include thirty days in jail, one-year probation, anger management classes, community service, restitution, and $500 in fines.
It is important to note that an injury is not required for an assault charge. Just touching another person insultingly or verbally threatening another person may be considered assault under Arizona law.
What Is an Aggravated Assault in Phoenix, Arizona?
Believe it or not, slapping someone could result in a felony charge of aggravated assault under certain circumstances. A.R.S. 13-1204 provides a lengthy list of actions that may lead to the offense of aggravated assault.
Some of the more common facts that could lead to an aggravated assault charge include when a person has committed assault under A.R.S. 13-1203 and that person:
- Causes serious physical injury to another.
- Uses a deadly or dangerous instrument.
- Causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part, or a fracture of any body part.
- Commits the assault while the victim is bound, physically restrained, or their ability to resist is substantially impaired.
- Commits the assault after entering the private home of another with the intent to commit the assault.
- Is eighteen or older and commits the assault on a minor under fifteen.
- Violates a protective order and intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes physical injury to the protected person or knowingly touches the protected person intending to injure, insult, or provoke them.
- Commits the assault knowing or having reason to know that the victim is a member of a prescribed group, including, but not limited to, a peace officer, constable, firefighter, teacher, health care worker, prosecutor, park ranger, public defender, or judicial officer, under specific circumstances.
- Knowingly takes or attempts to exercise control of any firearm, weapon, or instrument a peace officer uses under the circumstances prescribed in the statute.
- Is in the custody of a law enforcement agency or department of corrections and knew or should have known the victim is acting in an official capacity as an employee of that agency or department.
Being charged with Arizona felony aggravated assault is very serious and can result in lengthy prison sentences, heavy fines, and a criminal record that follows you through life. A felony conviction can have long-lasting adverse effects, including losing your right to own or possess a firearm and making it more difficult to find good jobs. You’ll need an experienced, trusted attorney to defend you.
Defenses to Assault and Aggravated Assault
You may have valid legal defenses to a charge of assault or aggravated assault. Your attorney can help you determine what defenses to raise against the charges against you. However, some of the more common defenses may include:
- Your actions were not done intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.
- You acted in self-defense.
- You acted in defense of another person.
- There may be insufficient evidence for one of the additional circumstances necessary for an aggravated charge.
- Your constitutional rights may have been violated before or after your arrest.
It is essential to have an excellent criminal defense attorney review your case to determine what defenses may be appropriate. With a solid defense, your charges could be reduced or dismissed.
Consult With a Trusted Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney
Slapping someone can be considered an assault in Pheonix, AZ. Under certain conditions, slapping someone could even be felony aggravated assault in Phoenix, AZ.
The penalties for assault can be harsher than you might think. And because aggravated assault is a felony in Arizona, the penalties can be severe and long-lasting.
However, you may have justification for your actions. An experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney will review your case and help you determine what defenses to raise to protect your rights.
Contact the Criminal Defense Lawyers at Orent Law Offices In Phoenix To Get Legal Assistance Today
For more information, contact the criminal defense attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.
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