According the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) crime statistics and reports, there were approximately 26,311 arrests made for violent crimes reported in 2011. An estimated 7,127 of those involved Aggravated Assault charges, and many of those offenses involved use of a deadly weapon. These are extremely serious charges that if convicted, can result in long term to life prison sentencing in the case of serious injury to a victim; or capital punishment in the case of homicide.
Felony Assault Laws
Assault involving possession or use of a Deadly Weapon or instrument elevates a charge to an Aggravated Assault which is a felony. Arizona defines a “Deadly Weapon” under A.R.S. 13-105 (15) as anything designed for lethal use, and includes firearms.
A Felony Assault under Arizona Law A.R.S. 13-1204 means any offense defined as:
- Misdemeanor Assaults under the provisions of A.R.S. 13-1203; and
- Which involve Aggravated Factors
There are numerous aggravated circumstances outlined under the law, and includes assault with use of deadly weapon or instrument A.R.S. 13-1204 (2).
Classifications and Penalties
Charges of felony assault resulting in serious injury from use of a deadly weapon are categorized as a Class 3 Felony unless:
- If a victim is under 15 years of age, it will be charged as a class 2 Felony; or
- If assault is against a police or peace officer, prosecutor, engaged in their official duties, it will be charged as a class 2 Felony
Sentencing and Penalties
These crimes are designated as dangerous or violent crimes, especially if they cause serious harm or injury to another due to threat or use of a deadly weapon. Under these circumstances they are considered dangerous and violent crime.
- Class 3 Felony convictions involving use of a deadly weapon carry prison terms of 5 to 15 years;
- Class 2 Felony convictions involving use of a deadly weapon carry prison terms of 7 to 21 years;
- Class 2 Felony Convictions a Dangerous Crime against a child 12 years of age or under may result in 13 to 27 years in prison; as defined in A.R.S. 13-705 Classifications;
- Class 1 Felonies are reserved for homicide and carry prison terms for 25 years or more; life or Capital Punishment.
Repeat offenses will result in longer term and more severe penalties. Penalties also include fines of up to $150,000.00; restitution; supervised parole; loss of some civil rights; counseling, community service, felony criminal record, and other penalties the court deems necessary.
Criminal Defense Attorney Chandler AZ
If you have been accused and arrested for Aggravated Assault of any kind, you should consult an experienced criminal attorney before pleading guilty or going to court unrepresented. These crimes against a victim are very serious, and can result in long term, life sentences, and even the death penalty in Arizona. If retained, an experienced trial lawyer will evaluate your case; examine the evidence against you; protect your rights; make sure you are treated fairly; and tell your side of the story in the proper legal channels. Make sure the attorney you hire has a vast amount of experience in criminal defense, trial and litigation. You will need proper representation during every aspect of the criminal justice process. Retention of your lawyer early will increase the chances of getting a more favorable resolution in your case.