Aggravated Assault in Private Residences

Phoenix Lawyer Representing People Charged with Violent Crimes

Aggravated assault in a private residence is a serious felony offense in Arizona. If you are caught inside somebody else's home making threats that the victim believes that you are capable of carrying out, or if you intentionally or knowingly physically injure someone else, you could be charged with aggravated assault. It is critical that you retain a tough, knowledgeable attorney to fight the charges. James E. Novak is an experienced Phoenix assault defense lawyer who was previously a prosecutor. He may be able to put his insights about how prosecutors and judges think about criminal cases to work for you.

Charges of Aggravated Assault in Private Residences

Simple assault is defined under A.R.S. section 3-1203. It is a misdemeanor. It occurs if you recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally cause a physical injury to someone else. It can also occur if you intentionally make somebody reasonably apprehend that they are at risk of an imminent physical injury. Alternatively, it can occur if you knowingly touch someone else with the intent of injuring, insulting, or provoking that person. However, there are certain circumstances that can elevate a simple assault to an aggravated assault.

Under A.R.S. section 13-1204, someone perpetrates aggravated assault when he or she perpetrates assault under section 13-1203, and an aggravating circumstance is present. One such aggravating circumstance is when you have committed an assault after entering someone else's private home with the intent of committing the assault.

For example, if you went into someone's house with the intention of beating him up, this would be aggravated assault in a private residence. Similarly, if you went into somebody else's house with the intent of provoking him into a fight with you, that would also be aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault can be charged as a felony. Felonies can be Class 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felonies, with Class 2 felonies being the most serious felonies and Class 6 felonies being the least serious. The presumptive term of imprisonment for Class 5 aggravated assault would be 27 months. The presumptive term of imprisonment for Class 2 aggravated assault would be 10.5 years. An aggravated assault conviction can result in fines of up to $250,000, restitution to a victim whom you injured, a felony criminal record, and additional fees and assessments.

It can be stressful to be charged with aggravated assault, since felony charges are quite serious. But you should not assume that a conviction is assured. The prosecutor needs to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high burden. There is a presumption of your innocence, and we may be able to raise a doubt about one or more elements. Sometimes we can raise a doubt about whether you entered the private residence with the intent of committing assault. If we can show that you did not have the requisite intent before entering the home, the prosecutor may be willing to enter into a plea deal for simple assault, or we may be able to persuade a jury. In some cases, we may be able to challenge the element of intent with regard to the injury caused. Perhaps you did not knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally injure anyone. In some cases, people enter private residences for reasons other than to threaten someone or cause injuries, and they are surprised to find someone at home. It may be possible to show that your conduct was accidental or not intended to be violent.

Sometimes, it is possible to challenge the way that evidence was obtained or to look at whether any constitutional rights were violated prior to or during your arrest. For example, if you were not read your Miranda rights before being questioned in custody, it may be possible to suppress statements made without the warning.

In other cases, it might be appropriate to defend on grounds of self-defense or defense of another. You can defend yourself with physical force against someone else to the extent that a reasonable person would think that it was immediately necessary to protect against someone else's use of illegal force against them. It is fairly rare that self-defense or defense of others would be an appropriate defense against charges of aggravated assault in someone else's private residence, but it could be possible, for example, if you were trying to rescue a child who had been kidnapped and kept in the home, or to extricate one of the people who lived in the home from a domestic violence situation.

Discuss Your Options with an Assault Defense Attorney in Phoenix

You should hire an experienced attorney if you are facing a charge of aggravated assault in a private residence. James E. Novak is a former prosecutor who now represents defendants throughout the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.

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