Assault Penalties

Lawyers for Phoenix Residents Charged With Violent Crimes

Assault is considered a violent crime. In Arizona, penalties for assault can range from fines to a term of incarceration depending on how serious the situation was, and what your criminal record is. If you’re a first offender, the penalties may not be harsh. Even so, if you accumulate a number of convictions or any of them involves serious injuries or other aggravating circumstances, you could face a term of incarceration. If you have questions about assault penalties, dedicated Phoenix assault defense attorney James E. Novak may be able to help. Mr. Novak is a former prosecutor who can look at your situation and help you determine potential defense strategies.


Assault doesn’t require actual bodily contact; it can be accomplished with threats of bodily harm so long as those threats are credible. Assault is usually distinct from battery, which involves unwanted physical contact. Assault is prohibited under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 13-1203. A prosecutor can show simple assault by proving beyond a reasonable doubt you: (1) recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally caused physical injuries to another, (2) intentionally put someone else in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury, or (3) knowingly touched another with the intent to provoke, insult, or injure that person. Assault that’s perpetrated knowingly or intentionally and causes physical injuries is a Class 1 misdemeanor. When it’s perpetrated recklessly such that it causes physical injuries, or where there was an intention to make another person fearful of imminent physical injuries, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Assault that involves knowingly touching someone else with the intent to injure, insult, or provoke is a Class 3 misdemeanor. A skilled defense lawyer can help you defend the case against you based on the circumstances of the alleged offense.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is prohibited under A.R.S. section 13-1204. Someone perpetrates aggravated assault when he or she commits assault and certain circumstances are present. One circumstance that can elevate assault to aggravated assault is where serious physical injury results. Another is when a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon was used to perpetrate the assault. Another is when someone perpetrates assault through force that causes substantial temporary disfigurement, or substantial temporary loss or impairment of a body part.

Assault Penalties

The assault penalties you will face for a conviction depend on how the assault is charged, and how the assault is charged usually depends on the severity of the situation. Class 1 assault is a misdemeanor, and the fines can be up to $2500, with a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail. With a Class 2 assault, you can face up to $750 in fines and up to 4 months in jail. With a Class 3 assault, you can face fines of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail. If you have a prior conviction of assault during the last 2 years, you can face a sentence that is normally imposed for the level of offense that is one degree more serious than yours.

Aggravated assault can be charged in the range of Class 2 to Class 5 felony. If you’re convicted of aggravated assault as a dangerous offense, you can face prison time. There are mandatory sentences to prison for aggravated assault in Arizona. A first offender can face 5 to 15 years of imprisonment. Defendants that were previously convicted of a dangerous offense can face 10 to 20 years, while a third-time offender could face 15 to 25 years in prison. Additionally, the fines can be as high as $150,000 for an aggravated assault conviction and sentence. You may also lose civil rights like the right to bear arms or the right to vote.

Retain a Seasoned Assault Defense Attorney in Phoenix

Assault charges should be taken seriously. If you are facing assault charges in Phoenix and are concerned about the potential penalties, you can discuss your situation with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. Mr. Novak is available to represent defendants charged with violent crimes in the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and across Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact us via our online form.

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