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Assault / Violent Crimes

Assault / Violent Crimes

Assault / Violent Crimes

It is important to remember that violent crime accusations in Phoenix will not necessarily result in a conviction. The prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element to the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a very difficult burden to meet, especially when proving mental states to commit the crime. If the judge or jury has any doubt as to whether an element of the crime was proven, the charges against you can be reduced or even dismissed.

However, a conviction for violent crime offenses in Phoenix can result in serious penalties, including lengthy mandatory prison or jail terms, a criminal record and/or steep fines. These types of offenses can also render an individual ineligible for probation, for other types of deferred sentencing, or to own or possess a firearm. Therefore, it is essential to hire a knowledgeable Phoenix criminal defense lawyer to create your best legal strategy in order to possibly help you avoid a conviction to your alleged offense.

Maricopa County Violent Crime Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a violent crime in Mesa, or any of the surrounding areas in Arizona, including Gilbert, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix or East Valley, contact the Law Office of James E. Novak. James Novak is an experienced violent crimes attorney and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and consequences to your alleged offense. Call the Law Office of James E. Novak for a free consultation at (480) 413-1499 about your violent crime allegations.


Arizona Violent Crimes Information Center


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Arizona Violent Crime Overview

An individual can be charged with a violent crime in Phoenix if they commit any of the following offenses:

Threatening or Intimidation – ARS § 130-1202 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they threaten or intimidate another person by word or conduct:

  • To cause physical injury to that person or another person, or to cause serious damage to another person’s property;
  • To cause, or in reckless disregard to causing, a serious public inconvenience, including evacuation of a building, place of assembly or transportation facility; or
  • To cause physical injury to that person or damage their property in order to promote, or induce or solicit another person to participate in a criminal street gang, criminal syndicate or racketeering enterprise.

This offense can result in a class 1 misdemeanor, class 6 felony or class 3 felony conviction.

Assault – ARS § 13-1203 – An individual can be charged with assault in Arizona if they:

  • Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause physical injury to another person;
  • Intentionally place another person in reasonable fear of physical harm; or
  • Knowingly touch another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke that person.

This offense can result in a class 1, 2 or 3 misdemeanor conviction.

Aggravated Assault – ARS § 13-1204 – An individual can be charged with aggravated assault if they commit an assault offense and:

  • They cause serious physical injury;
  • They commit assault that resulted in temporary but serious disfigurement, or loss or impairment of any body part;
  • They commit assault while the other person is bound or restrained;
  • The commit an assault offense and enter another person’s home;
  • They are at least 18 years old and commit assault against a person who is under 15; or
  • They violate the terms of a protective order.

This offense can result in a class 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 felony conviction.

Assault with a Weapon – ARS § 13-1204 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they commit an assault offense and use a deadly weapon. This offense can result in a class 2 or 3 felony conviction.

Kidnapping – ARS § 13-1304 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly restrain another person with the intent to:

  • Hold that person for ransom, as a shield, or in hostage;
  • Hold that person for involuntary servitude;
  • Inflict death, physical injury or a sexual offense on that person, or to aid in the commission of any other felony offense;
  • Interfere with the performance of a governmental or political function; or
  • Seize or exercise control over any plane, train, bus or other vehicle.

This offense can result in a class 2, 3 or 4 felony conviction.

Endangerment – ARS § 13-1201 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they recklessly cause another person to be endangered by a substantial risk of immediate death or physical injury. This offense can result in a class 1 misdemeanor or class 6 felony conviction.


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Violent Crime Mental States

Alleged violent crime offenders in Phoenix are often required to have a certain mental state, or act in an intentional, reckless or knowing manner. Mental states are generally unique to each person, so it can be difficult for the prosecution to prove the alleged offender had the required mental state to commit the offense. The most common violent mental states, according to the Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-105(10), are listed below.

  • Intentionally – An alleged offender acts intentionally if they have the objective to cause the result of the offense, or the objective to engage in the criminal conduct.
  • Knowingly – An alleged offender acts knowingly if they are aware or believe that their conduct was criminal or assaultive in nature. They are not required to know the act was unlawful.
  • Recklessly – An alleged offender acts recklessly if they are aware of and consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that their conduct will cause the result of the offense.

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Penalties in Maricopa County for Violent Crimes

According to Chapters 7 and 8 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the terms of imprisonment for convicted violent crime offenders in Phoenix range from a minimum term to a maximum term, but are generally give a presumptive sentence. The sentencing ranges for misdemeanor and first-time felony violent crime offenders are as follows:

  • A class 3 misdemeanor violent crime conviction can result in up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500.
  • A class 2 misdemeanor violent crime conviction can result in up to four months in jail and/or a fine up to $750.
  • A class 1 misdemeanor violent crime conviction can result in up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.
  • A class 6 felony violent crime conviction can result in prison term ranging from 18 months to three years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is for 27 months.
  • A class 5 felony violent crime conviction can result in a prison term ranging from two years to four years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is for three years.
  • A class 4 felony violent crime conviction can result in a prison term ranging from four years to eight years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is for six years.
  • A class 3 felony violent crime conviction can result in five years to 15 years in prison, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is for 7.5 years.
  • A class 2 felony violent crime conviction can result in a prison term from seven years to 21 years, but the presumptive term of imprisonment is for 10.5 years.

However, the jail or prison sentences for violent crime offenders can vary depending on the following factors:

  • Whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense;
  • Whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal convictions;
  • Whether the offense involved a child under the age of 18;
  • Whether the offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury;
  • Whether the offense was aggravated;
  • Whether the offense was dangerous or non-dangerous;
  • Whether the offense was mitigated; and/or
  • Whether the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense.

Felony violent crime offenders may also be required to pay a fine up to $150,000.


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Defenses to Violent Crimes in Arizona

Arizona law provides for many justification defenses to violent crimes in Chapter 4 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. These defenses are not applicable in every situation, so it is important to first consult with your experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who will assist you identifying your best legal strategy. The following defenses may be available to alleged violent offenders in Arizona:  

  • Self Defense – ARS § 13-404 – An individual may be entitled to use self defense if he believed physical force was necessary to protect himself against another person’s use or attempt to use physical force.
  • Defense of Property or Premises – ARS § 13-407 – 13-408 – An individual may be permitted to use defense of property or premises if he reasonably believed physical force was necessary to prevent an attempt or commission of theft or criminal damage of his tangible property or criminal trespass on his premises by another person. 
  • Defense of a Third Person – ARS § 13-406 – An individual may be able to use defense of a third person if he believed physical force was necessary to protect a third party against another person’s threat of physical force or deadly physical force.   
  • Duress – ARS § 13-412 – An individual may be able to use this defense if they committed some type of conduct that would normally be a criminal offense, but was forced to engage in the conduct by the threat or immediate use of physical force that could result in serious physical injury.
  • Necessity – ARS § 13-417 – An individual may be able to use this defense if they engaged in conduct that would normally be considered a criminal offense, but was forced to engage in the conduct because they had no alternative to avoid greater public or private injury.
  • Lack of Mental State – An individual may be able to avoid criminal prosecution for an alleged violent crime if they did not have had the required mental state, or did not act knowingly, recklessly or intentionally when they allegedly committed the offense.

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Arizona Resources for Violent Crimes

Arizona Revised Statutes – Chapter 12 of Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes defines many violent crimes and assaultive offenses, including endangerment, assault, and aggravated assault. This link is to assault and the potential penalties for assault under ARS § 13-1203.

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office – The Maricopa County’s Sheriff’s Office is a law enforcement agency that is committed to providing quality law enforcement, detention and support services to the citizens of Maricopa County. The sheriff’s office is located at:

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
100 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Phone: (602) 876-1011

Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) – This link is to the Drug, Gang and Violent Crime program, which is responsible for special prosecution programs and substance abuse treatment for state prisoners. The ACJC is responsible for monitoring and reporting regarding the management of criminal justice programs in Arizona. The ACJC is located at:

ACJC
1110 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona
Phone: (602) 364-1146

National Crime Information Center (NCIC) – This link is to a computerized index of criminal justice information, which contains miscellaneous information on crimes and criminals throughout the nations, including Arizona.


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Law Office of James E. Novak, PLLC | Violent Crime Defense Attorney in Mesa

Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak today for a consultation about your alleged crimes of violence or assault charges throughout Maricopa County in Arizona. James Novak is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Mesa who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your alleged situation. Contact the Law Office of James E. Novak at (480) 413-1499 for a consultation about your alleged violent offense throughout Maricopa County in Arizona.