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In the state of Arizona, the criminal act of assault is defined as knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury; touching with the intent to injure, provoke or insult; or causing another person to fear imminent bodily harm.

In most cases, simple assault charges will be classified as misdemeanors. While not as serious as felonies, misdemeanors still carry hefty fines and penalties associated with them. However, if aggravating factors are involved, assault crimes become increasingly more serious and the penalties even more severe.

If you are facing aggravated assault charges, you may already have an idea of the seriousness, but you need to seek experienced legal representation for your defense. At Sonoran Law Group, we understand the laws involving assault and how to defend against accusations and charges for your best chance in facing reduced punishments.

What is Aggravated Assault?

The aggravated assault definition is generally categorized as a ‘dangerous’ offense and will usually carry a class 3 or 4 felony with convictions. There are several instances in which a simple assault (misdemeanor) can be elevated to aggravated status. The following are some of the more common situations where the defendant:


  • Inflicts serious physical injury or substantial disfigurement to another individual
  • Uses a deadly weapon or dangerous object to intentionally place an individual in imminent fear of serious injury
  • Commits a misdemeanor assault on a first responder, teacher, prosecutor, healthcare provider or prison guard
  • Commits a misdemeanor assault on a minor under the age of 15 (if the defendant is over 18)
  • Commits assault after entering the private residence of an individual
  • Threatens or intimidates an individual or his/her property because they are a witness to a crime
  • Member of a gang that threatens or intimidates an individual or their property
  • Acts in any way that creates a risk of “imminent death”

Did You Know?

Another lesser-known situation that will result in aggravated assault charges is where an impaired driver, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causes an accident in which another person is injured. In this situation, the vehicle is considered to be a “dangerous instrument.”

Types of Aggravated Assault Charges

As listed above, there are several different circumstances that can result in aggravated assault charges. If convicted, the punishments will vary, depending on the certain provision of the aggravated assault statute and if there is any prior criminal record for the defendant. Below is a brief overview of the punishments for some of the most common provisions that were outlined prior.

  • Deadly weapon (class 3 felony)
    • five to 25 years in prison (depending on prior dangerous felony convictions)
  • Serious physical injury without a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (class 3 felony)
    • Probation to 25 years in prison (depending on prior convictions
  • Temporary but substantial disfigurement (class 4 felony) – an assault that does not result in serious physical injury is classified as a ‘non-dangerous’ felony
    • Probation to 15 years in prison, depending on prior convictions
  • Elevated misdemeanor assault due to victim status (class 6 felony)
    • Probation to 5.75 years in prison depending on prior convictions
  • Underage victim – (class 2 felony)
    • This assault charge carries much more severe sentencing than the above-outlined


Don’t Let Aggravated Assault Convictions Ruin Your Life

Even though this is a brief overview of what can be classified as aggravated assault and the penalties that are associated, you can see just how serious even minimal charges are. It is absolutely crucial that you seek an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will aggressively defend your rights and seek the best possible outcome for your unique case.

Felony convictions last much longer than just the incarceration sentence, and these serious charges can impact the rest of your life. Schedule your no-cost consultation to review the details of your case and determine the best plan of action. Contact Sonoran Law Group, today!