A person may be charged with aggravated assault in Arizona if they have an altercation with another person. If you or a loved one has been charged with this crime or you’re concerned about being charged and you want to know more, you may find the following information helpful. You need to learn what assault means, how aggravated assault differs and the penalties that go along with the charge if you are convicted.
What is the Definition of Assault?
According to the Arizona Revised Statute, assault (see: ARS 13-1203) happens when someone attacks another person with the intent to do harm. Even someone who attempts to harm another person but doesn’t succeed could be charged with assault. This may be a misdemeanor or it can be upgraded to a felony charge, which has more serious repercussions.
Someone may be charged with assault whether they attacked the other person or both people were mutually fighting. The attacker may not have touched the other person, but they fear being attacked because of the person’s behavior.
An example of assault that doesn’t involve physical violence would be the following: Bill and Joe meet on the street and Bill lifts his hand in a fist as if he’s about to hit Joe. He yells, “I’m going to get you for what you did.” He could be charged with assault even though he hadn’t touched Joe, but the threat was real. Joe was frightened by the raised fist. If there had been no behavior or words, a charge of assault could not have been made even if Joe was afraid of Bill. It is the action of the person that makes the charge, not the reaction of the potential victim.
What Makes Assault Aggravated?
An assault may be labeled as aggravated for a few reasons. If there is an extenuating factor such as a weapon, it may be called aggravated assault (see: ARS 13-1204). Another factor that would turn an assault into something more is the relationship between the two people.