Defending Criminal Assault Charges
Like disorderly conduct and theft, criminal assault charges are quite common in Arizona and they can have severe consequences. In Arizona under A.R.S. § 13-1203 misdemeanor assault is defined as:
1. knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
2. Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
3. Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
When people hear the word “assault” they think about the situation in which someone actually causes physical injury to another person. Indeed, under Arizona law, one way – but not the only way – an assault can occur is by causing physical injury to another person. See A.R.S. 13-1203(A). What people don’t entirely understand is that an assault can be committed even if no one is physically touched. See A.R.S. § 13-1203(2). Say for example you are at a party. You walk up to a person, clinch your fist, wind up, and act like you are going to punch the person, although you don’t actually throw a punch or otherwise touch the person. The person sees you and flinches. Even though you did not actually touch the person, this could be considered an assault under Arizona law.
Several defenses may be raised to a charge of criminal assault under A.R.S. § 13-1203 depending on the circumstances and the level of force used. In the event the individual was acting in the execution of a public-duty, acting in self-defense, acting in the defense of a third person, acting in the defense of a premises, acting in the defense of property, acting in a law enforcement capacity, or acting to prevent a crime, a justification defense may be raised resulting in a basis for dismissal of the assault charge.
Even though assault can be charged as a misdemeanor, the term “assault” has an extremely negative connotation and stigma attached to it. And so whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony assault charge, you should take the charge very seriously. Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney in Arizona can help you properly defend this serious charge. Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC has experienced criminal assault attorneys standing by to help you defend your case. CALL TODAY FOR A CONSULTATION: (520) 433-9031. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.