Roadside Confrontations and Assault

Lawyers for Assault and Violent Crimes Charges

If you are charged in connection with a roadside confrontation and assault in Tempe, it is critical to retain a skillful criminal defense attorney. Simply being charged with a violent crime doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be convicted. The prosecutor has a tough burden. However, the prosecutor also has tremendous resources and it’s important to have someone on your side who has experience handling assault charges.

Roadside Confrontations and Assault

Often people don’t realize that a roadside confrontation or other brawl can constitute assault or aggravated assault. However, you can be charged with assault for actions that you didn’t believe were serious at the time.

Under A.R.S. section 13-1203, assault occurs when someone either (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes physical injury to somebody else, (2) knowingly touches somebody else with an intent to injure, provoke or insult, or (3) intentionally puts someone else in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. One of these three scenarios must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish and secure an assault conviction. Assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony aggravated assault. Most of the time it’s charged as a misdemeanor.


In Arizona, misdemeanor assaults can be charged in one of three classes. The least serious is a Class 3 misdemeanor. This involves touching with the intent to provoke or injure. Class 3 misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, and a maximum of 12 months on probation. If there is a threat of injury, you’ll be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor, which carries at most 4 months in jail, a maximum of 2 years probation, and a $750 fine plus surcharges. When there’s an actual physical injury in the roadside confrontation you can face the most serious misdemeanor charge, a class 1 charge. The maximum sentence for a Class 1 misdemeanor charge is 6 months in jail, 3 years probation and a $2500 fine plus surcharges. If, for example, you and your wife get into a brawl on the side of the road and you hit her, you can be convicted of domestic violence, which means you wouldn’t be able to possess firearms or ammunition; the conviction could adversely impact you in a divorce or child custody matter.

Aggravated assault is charged under A.R.S. section 13-1204. The prosecutor will need to establish not only simple assault, but also that you (1) knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly, (2) provoked, injured, insulted, or caused physical injury or harm to another. For example, if you were angry another driver cut you off, and both you and the other driver got out of your cars, and you whipped a gun out to threaten him or her and fired off a few shots, you may be charged with aggravated assault. Similarly, in that same situation, if you punched him repeatedly and he hit the ground and suffered a traumatic brain injury, you could be charged with aggravated assault. For another example, if you slashed him across the face, disfiguring him, and pushed him against the car so that he fractured his arms, you could be charged with aggravated assault. If you’re pulled over by a police officer and try to get control of the police officer’s weapon, you could also be charged with aggravated assault. There are a number of other situations in which you could also be charged with aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault can be charged as Class 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felonies. Class 2 felonies are the most severe. If convicted of class 2 felony aggravated assault you can face 7-21 years in prison. If you’re convicted of a class 6 felony aggravated assault, you can face 18 months to 3 years, with a presumptive term of 27 months.

Consult a Skillful Violent Crimes Attorney

If you are charged with assault or aggravated assault in connection with a Tempe roadside confrontation, you should consult a skillful criminal defense attorney. Call experienced criminal defense attorney James E. Novak. Mr. Novak represents those charged with DUIs throughout the Phoenix area including Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.

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