If you are facing first-time assault charges in Arizona, you should be aware that the long-term consequences of a conviction may be significant. Alleged assaults happen under many different circumstances, and there may be a strong defense that an experienced Phoenix assault defense lawyer can use to negotiate with the prosecutor or secure an acquittal. Even if we are not able to obtain an acquittal, there may be important mitigating factors that we can present to the judge in pursuit of a more lenient sentence. James Novak is an experienced Arizona attorney who previously served as a prosecutor and understands assault charges and the ways to defend against them.Fighting a First-Time Assault Charge
Simple assaults involve three different scenarios. You might be convicted for recklessly or knowingly causing a bodily injury to someone else. You might also be convicted for knowingly touching someone with the intent to injure them or to insult or provoke. You might also be convicted of a simple assault for intentionally causing someone else to reasonably fear imminent bodily harm. If you have a romantic relationship or live with the person who is the alleged victim, it is considered domestic violence. In order to get a first-time assault conviction, the prosecution must prove assault involving one of these three scenarios beyond a reasonable doubt.
Generally, if you are convicted of simple assault touching with the intent of injuring or provoking, it will be charged as a class 3 misdemeanor, while if you are charged with an assault involving a threat of injury, you may be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor. If you actually injured someone, you will likely be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. Being convicted carries a punishment of up to six months in jail.
If you are charged with first-time aggravated assault, you are facing felony charges. Typically, these are class 3 or class 4 felony charges, so the punishments are more severe, and you are more likely to go to prison, even for a first offense. There are many different factors that may turn a simple assault into an aggravated assault. One of these is when a serious physical injury or disfigurement is a result of the assault. For example, even if you did not mean to hit someone hard, if the result is that the person will spend their life with a scar on their face, you may be charged with aggravated assault. Similarly, if you use a deadly weapon to make someone afraid, you may be charged with aggravated assault. Another circumstance that may result in first-time aggravated assault charges is when the victim is a police officer, a teacher, a prosecutor, a fire fighter, or a member of certain other professions.
There may be strong defenses that you can use, whether you are being charged with first-time assault or first-time aggravated assault. For example, you may have been defending yourself, in which case we can put forward a self-defense argument. Sometimes it is possible to argue that a defendant was defending other people when the assault happened.
If it is not possible to secure a plea deal or an acquittal, we may be able to advocate vigorously for a lenient sentence. The presumptive term for a class 3 aggravated assault is 7.5 years. However, an experienced attorney will work to make sure that the judge considers any mitigating factors that should result in a lesser sentence, including potentially the defendant’s lack of a criminal record.Consult an Assault Defense Attorney in the Phoenix Area
It is important to retain an experienced attorney even if you are charged with first-time assault in Arizona. Our principal is a former prosecutor who can provide aggressive, strategic representation for first-time assault charges. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form for a free consultation. He represents defendants who need a misdemeanor lawyer or a felony attorney throughout the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other cities in Maricopa County.