What Factors Would Aggravate An Assault Charge?
There are many different factors involved in an assault charge. The traditional way is for the assault to have been committed with a weapon of some type, either a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument under Arizona law. Typically, we are going to be talking about a gun, a knife, anything that is designed, or used for lethal force to cause an injury to anyone. A dangerous instrument can include a variety of other objects, such as baseball bats, tire irons, crowbars, and all kinds of instruments in a way they were used to create a deadly weapon for the person using it. Therefore, for those types of aggravated assaults, sometimes injury is not required either, it is just the idea that a weapon could be used against anyone.
If a gun was pointed at someone, a knife held at someone’s throat, it is much like a regular, or misdemeanor assault. If they used, and caused injury, then that will be an aggravated assault. Those factors are just used in determining how harsh a sentence someone might get if they are convicted of an assault involving the use of a weapon, or threatening with the use of a. Therefore, that is the standard aggravated assault charge. Another way to commit aggravated assault is to commit a simple assault, like punching, kicking, hitting someone, and having it result in serious physical injury to that person.
One of the common ways I have noticed is a couple of people get into a fist fight outside of a bar, one individual punches the other, and that individual falls off the curb and gets his head cut open. So now, you have got a serious physical injury, maybe surgery, possible brain damage. This is something that happens every day. It goes from a simple assault where you just punched someone, to an aggravated assault, because the extent of the injury was so great. Same thing, serious physical injury can essentially involve anything that temporarily or permanently disfigures someone or permanently injures someone. We look for scarring, surgeries, anything that is going to have a significant impact, or changes the way someone looks, or lives.
Weapons, and injuries, those are the main ones. We also have some lower levels of aggravated assault that involve broken bones. So anytime someone is punched, breaks a jaw, an eye socket, a hand, anything like that can be a different type of aggravated assault. The original ones I was talking about involving weapons and serious physical injuries are what we call dangerous felony offenses in Arizona. There is mandatory prison no matter whether you are a first time offender, or not. Aggravated assault with broken bones can still be probation-eligible if you do not have priors, but it is a felony and be sentenced to prison or jail.
Another type of aggravated assault can be an adult committing a simple assault against a minor, even though it would be simple assault under the law, because of the age differential. It is qualified as aggravated assault. Therefore, those are the main ways we see aggravated assault charged in Arizona.
Is An Aggravated Assault Charge Always Considered A Felony?
An aggravated assault is always going to be a felony. A couple of the aggravated assaults, such as adult on a minor, that is a class VI felony, and class VI felonies in Arizona are actually the one type of felony that depending on how you perform on probation, or what the judge feels about either the sentence, a class VI felony can be designated a misdemeanor at some point. It can be designated a felony at some point, or it can remain what we call undesignated, where this settles the line between both. Only in the instance of a class VI felony can you get an aggravated assault reduced to a misdemeanor, and most aggravated assaults are class IV felonies, or class III dangerous felonies, which, as I said, are all dangerous offenses with mandatory prison.
How Does The Intent Of The Alleged Perpetrator Affect The Assault Charge?
Intent is the most important thing in determining the strength of an assault charge. In most cases, it is going to be charged that the individual intended the outcome, so whatever that was, was meant to end in the result that happened. So, if someone hit someone with the intent to injure him or her. Now, severity of injury may be up for argument, but the intent with the initial contact that an individual has with another is always going to be the most important piece of information. So intent is always very important, and that is when you look at someone’s intent, that is why we have justification laws with self-defense, and justified displays of a weapon, use of a weapon, or use of force against an individual. This may be using force against you, and assault cases are always going to be issuing arguments about the intent of both typically the defendant, and the victim, depending on how things went down.
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