What’s the Difference Between Assault and Domestic Violence in Arizona
We hear about assaults and domestic violence charges all the time, but are they technically the same things under the law?
Today, we want to get into the various Arizona assault charges as well as how domestic violence falls into the current law. You will see that Arizona takes these crimes very seriously. There are harsh penalties attached that can affect a person’s life. Also, domestic violence charges can come with additional civil penalties.
If you have been charged with assault, please seek help from a knowledgeable and experienced Arizona defense attorney as soon as possible. You do not want to be left at the mercy of prosecutors.
What Is Assault In Arizona?
Arizona has various classifications of assault, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. According to Arizona law, a person commits assault by:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
- Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
- Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
There are three classes of simple assault with people facing charges based on intentionality and injuries present. Please know that you do not have to actually injure another person to face assault charges. If there was intent to injure or insult, an assault charge can be assigned.
Charges for assault can be:
- Class 1 misdemeanor
- Up to 6 months jail and up to $2,500 fine
- Class 2 misdemeanor
- Up to 4 months jail and up to $750 fine
- Class 3 misdemeanor
- Up to 30 days jail and up to $500 fine
In Arizona, there is also a crime called aggravated assault which rises assault charges to the felony level. There are many reasons that an assault charge could rise to this level, but usually it happens when:
- A serious injury or substantial disfigurement has been caused
- A deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used to put a person in imminent fear of serious physical injury
- There has been an assault of a public servant (police officer, firefighter, teacher, hospital staff, etc.)
Charges for aggravated assault can range from a Class 2 to a Class 5 felony and can see a person get up to 15 years in prison.
Let’s Talk About Domestic Violence
Arizona has a specific statute in place to define domestic violence. These charges can apply when two people who live together, were romantically involved, or are somehow related, get into an altercation.
Please know that there are more than two dozen violent offenses currently on the books in Arizona that can be called domestic violence. Typically, these charges are Class 1 misdemeanors as described above. If a weapon was used, the charge will rise to the level of a felony. Anyone could guilty of a third misdemeanor domestic violence offense in a seven-year period can face felony charges.
However, there are other civil implications involved with domestic violence charges. A court order of protection can be filed against you which could:
- Include a “move out” order to leave your residence
- Prevent you from owning a firearm
- Prevent you from contacting certain people
- Prevent you from going anywhere in close proximity to certain people
What Happens Now?
If you have been charged with any assault charges in Arizona, including domestic violence, please seek assistance from an attorney. These charges do not go away on their own, even if the other party does not want to pursue them. You are at the mercy of the prosecutor. A skilled defense attorney will work to build a case to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Find out about mandatory minimum sentences in Arizona criminal proceedings.