Vehicular assault is classified as an aggravated assault charge in Arizona. This is a felony charge that can have serious consequences, including mandatory prison time. If you or a loved one is facing vehicular assault charges in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or elsewhere in Arizona, consult with an Arizona vehicular aggravated assault lawyer at Corso Law Group as soon as possible about your case.

Arizona’s Definition of Vehicular Assault

In Arizona, a vehicle is viewed as a deadly weapon. This means that an assault involving a vehicle is referred to as aggravated assault under A.R.S. § 13-1204. In Arizona, a person commits aggravated assault if he or she commits assault under A.R.S. § 13-1203 and uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

According to A.R.S. § 13-1203, an individual commits the crime of assault by: 

  • “Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
  • Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
  • Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.”

If these actions are committed with the use of a deadly weapon, including a motor vehicle, the charges are escalated to aggravated assault. This is classified as a class 3 dangerous felony, punishable with 5 to 7 years in prison. If an injured victim is under the age of 15, this crime is enhanced to a class 2 dangerous felony with a sentence of 7 to 21 years in prison.

Drunk Driving Accidents Can Be Classified as Vehicular Aggravated Assault 

Convicting an individual of vehicular aggravated assault in Arizona requires proving that the defendant’s actions were intentional or reckless. Recklessness means “a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists,” according to A.R.S. § 13-105(10)(C).

Under this definition, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol constitutes recklessness by a defendant. If an intoxicated driver causes a car accident that results in bodily injury or death to another person, the driver could face vehicular aggravated assault charges for recklessly causing the injuries.

Potential Defenses to Vehicular Assault Charges in Arizona 

To convict someone of vehicular aggravated assault in Arizona, the prosecution must prove the required elements of the offense as true beyond a reasonable doubt. Many potential defenses may be available to you during a vehicular assault case depending on the circumstances, including: 

  • You did not drive recklessly.
  • The accident was caused by another factor.
  • You were not under the influence (if the charges are based on allegations of drunk driving).
  • The victim’s injuries were not serious.
  • You were acting in self-defense or defense of others.
  • Evidence collected against you is inadmissible due to constitutional rights violations.
  • The prosecution does not have enough evidence to meet the burden of proof.
  • There are valid legal reasons why the case cannot proceed.

If you have been arrested for vehicular aggravated assault in Arizona, contact Corso Law Group right away for personalized legal advice. We can develop a defense strategy against vehicular assault charges that places you in the best position possible to achieve case dismissal. 

If this is not an option, we can negotiate to reduce the charges or lessen your sentence. As your legal representatives, we will exhaust every possible defense that applies to your case. Call (480) 471-4616 today to start with a free consultation.

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