Statute Explanation: ARS 13-1203 & ARS 13-1204 | Assault
- You don’t have to actually hit someone to get charged with Assault in Arizona.
The first thing to understand about violent crimes in Arizona is that the charge covers everything from making someone flinch, to pushing someone, to spitting on someone, up to hitting.
- You don’t have to actually hurt someone to get charged with Assault in Arizona.
You can get charged just for making someone flinch. So even if you actually hit someone but you don’t hurt that person in any way, you can still get charged with assault.
There are a number of ways the government can charge you with assault. The following list explains the most common ways in plain English:
- You hit, punched, slapped, kicked, pushed, or bit, someone and you meant to. This is a class 1 misdemeanor which means you could get up to 6 months jail and/or pay a fine of $2500.
- You made someone flinch, duck, or run away to avoid you hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, pushing, or biting that person and you meant to. This is a class 2 misdemeanor which means you could get up to 4 months jail and/or pay a fine of $750.
- You hit, punched, slapped, kicked, pushed, or bit, someone and you didn't mean to but you were reckless, which means you were careless and impulsive (and probably drunk which is not a defense if you got drunk voluntarily). This is a class 2 misdemeanor which means you could get up to 4 months jail and/or pay a fine of $750.
- You poked, or spit on someone and you meant to. This is a class 3 misdemeanor which means you could get up to 30 days jail and/or pay a fine of $500.
By the way, if you do any of the above to a kid under 15, police officer, firefighter, paramedic, teacher, nurse, doctor, prosecutor, public defender, or park ranger, you could be charged with Aggravated Assault and face a felony conviction.
Aggravated Assault is a felony in Arizona and can be charged from a number of different situations. If you are in a fight, depending on how badly the other person is hurt, you could be facing felony assault charges. You don’t have to cause any permanent damage to the person. Burges once had a case where a couple guys were arguing and one guy punched the other guy in the face for making an insulting comment about the man’s wife. Well he broke that guy’s nose and was then charged with Aggravated Assault.
Road rage can lead to Aggravated Assault if the police believe you were trying to hurt someone with your car. Even if you don’t actually hit someone with your car, you can get charged if the other driver thought you were going to hit him. Burges has had many cases over the years where a simple misunderstanding turned into Aggravated Assault charges and the prosecutor trying to put that person in prison.
A DUI can turn into an Aggravated Assault too. If you get in an accident and someone else is injured, even a fellow passenger, you could be looking at serious felony charges and prison.
If you point a gun and the other person believes you pointed it at him, you could get charged with Aggravated Assault and face prison. But it doesn’t have to be a gun either. Anything you use in a fight could be charged as a dangerous weapon. I once had a case where my client picked up a chair during an argument and they charged him with Aggravated Assault. He was actually facing prison for picking up a chair during a fight. Of course, I kept him out of prison. But the point is it doesn’t take much to face prison in Arizona.
Click here to see results from last Assault cases.