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In Maricopa County, there are a wide range of circumstances under which an assault can be charged as the more serious felony offense of aggravated assault. Depending on the facts of the case and the reason it was charged as a felony, the defendant could be facing mandatory prison if convicted. If the defendant in the case used a gun, knife, or other weapon, that could be charged as a dangerous offense – even if the weapon was never used against the victim. Because the stakes are so high, you should have an experienced former felony prosecutor protecting your rights if you have been charged with aggravated assault.

Common aggravating factors used by the prosecution in Phoenix to charge aggravated assault include:

  • Use of a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or a “dangerous instrument” (such as a baseball bat or broken beer bottle)
  • The infliction of serious physical injury onto the victim of the aggravated assault
  • The existence of a restraining order (or “order of protection”) against the defendant
  • The victim sustained temporary but substantial disfigurement
  • The defendant caused the victim to suffer a fractured bone
  • The assault was committed against a minor by an adult
  • The assault was committed against a police officer, nurse, doctor, firefighter or school teacher
  • Taking or attempting to take a police officer’s gun

Many aggravated assaults do not involve any injury to the victim; yet still carry a mandatory prison sentence. For example, if a victim reports that an individual pointed a gun or a knife at them, charges of aggravated assault can be filed, even if the police never recovered the weapon. As a former prosecutor and Criminal Defense Attorney, Ryan M. Garvey has seen many cases where the serious charge of aggravated assault is filed based only the allegations of the purported victim. Because the prosecution will charge these aggravated assault cases and aggressively seek a prison sentence, your freedom could be jeopardized even in the absence of any physical evidence to bolster the victim’s allegations.

In addition to having the trial experience necessary to effectively challenge the credibility of your accuser at trial, founding attorney Ryan M. Garvey conducts a through defense investigation and carefully evaluates all aggravated assault cases for any potential self-defense claims that could be asserted in court.
Due to a recent change in Arizona law, the prosecution must now prove that the defendant did NOT act in self defense when the aggravated assault was committed. Up until the law changed, self-defense was considered an “affirmative defense”, meaning that the defendant had the burden of proof and had to basically prove his innocence at trial. By keeping abreast of these and other legal developments, Ryan M. Garvey provides his clients with the best representation available and will put his experience to work for you.