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Arizona Aggravated Assault on Police Officer Offenses

Any assault against police, by word or conduct, is a felony in Arizona

Aggravated (Felony) Assaults of a police officer is serious in Arizona. Depending on the circumstances, classifications may range from Class 6 felonies, up to Class 2 felonies. The only offenses more serious than Class 2 felonies are reserved for the most serious Class 1 felony crimes, such as homicide.

Felony Assault of Peace Officer Laws

Where Arizona criminal law refers to “Peace Officer”, it includes any vested police or law enforcement officer, whose duties include maintaining public order, and making arrests (A.R.S § 13-105).    .

Felony Assault: A.R.S § 13 -1204 (A) 8 – Any assault against a Peace Officer

A person may be convicted of Aggravated Assault of a police officer charges if:

  • They commit Assault under A.R.S. 13-1203 (assault and related offenses) Assault related offenses include endangerment, threatening or intimidation by word or conduct;
  • The person committing the assault knows or should reasonably know that the victim is a peace officer, or a directed by the officer while making an arrest and engaging in their official duties;

Felony Assault: A.R.S § 13 -1204 (A) 9 – Taking a Police Officer’s weapon

A person may be convicted of Aggravated Assault of a law enforcement officers if that person takes or attempts to take control of:

  • Peace Officer’s firearm;
  • Weapon other than a firearm, being used by the peace officer;
  • Other “implement” being used by a peace officer. This includes objects designed for; or capable of restraining or injuring a person (excluding handcuffs).

Classifications and Penalties

Classifications and sentencing for first time aggravated assault on police officer convictions include:

  • Most charges are brought as a Class 6 or Class 5 felony if any type of assault upon a peace officer while the officer is engaged or in execution of their duties; Sentencing ranges from 1.0 to 2.5 years in prison;
  • Charges may be brought as a Class 4 felony  if the assault results in any physical injury to police officer; Sentencing ranges from 2.5 to 3.75 years in prison;
  • Charges may be brought as a Class 3 felony if a forceful assault results in temporary but substantial disfigurement, loss or impairment of bodily organs, bone fracture, or fracture of any other body part;  Sentencing ranges from 3.5 to 8.75 years in prison.
  • Charges will be elevated to a Class 2 felony if in the assault the person a) causes serious physical injury to the officer, or b) uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument against the officer; Sentencing ranges from 5.0 to 12.5 years in prison;

Convictions for felony assault to a peace officer that resulted in serious physical injury; or if the suspect used a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; will not be eligible for minimized sentencing; suspension of sentence, commutation; or release under any conditions until the sentence is served as ordered by the presiding judge for the offenses.

Criminal Attorney for Aggravated Assault Defense, Phoenix AZ

Felony Assault Charges put your freedom and future in jeopardy Police and prosecution egregiously pursue convictions for offenses against police officers. If you are arrested for a felony assault, you should always consult an experienced criminal defense attorney regarding your matter.

You will need effective assistance of legal counsel through all stages of your criminal case. A qualified lawyer will protect your rights; defend your charges; and work to get the best possible resolution in your case.

To invoke your rights to retain an attorney, you should always exercise your 5th Amendment right to remain silent by verbally stating to police or prosecution, that you wish to have your attorney present during interrogation or questioning. You will also need to plead “not-guilty” if you wish to defend your charges, but have not yet retained an attorney. If retained, your legal advocate will enter the not-guilty plea on your behalf, and then begin tailoring an effective case for your charges. There may be defenses you are not aware of that could lead to a dismissal of charges, suppression of evidence, reduction in the severity of charges, or mitigation of sentencing.

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