Misdemeanor Assault in Arizona
A misdemeanor assault charge can have long lasting consequences for anybody who is convicted. Not only would a conviction for an assault leave you with a criminal record, it could also require jail time, fines, classes and may even keep you from being able to carry a gun.
A misdemeanor assault in Phoenix can range from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 3 misdemeanor. In Arizona, it does not require a person to injure another person in order to be charged or convicted of assault. In fact, you can be charged with assault without ever even touching another person
What kinds of misdemeanor assault can I be charged with?
An assault as a class 3 misdemeanor simply requires the State to prove that a person knowingly touched another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke another person. The State does not need to prove that an injury occurred at all. Rather, all that is needed is for a person to touch another person with an intent to injure or insult or provoke the other person. A conviction for a class 3 misdemeanor can result in a fine and up to 30 days in jail as well as probation, classes and community service.
Under Arizona law, a class 2 misdemeanor assault requires the State to prove that you intentionally placed another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. This charge does not require you to even touch another person. Instead, all that is needed is that the alleged victim feared that they were going to be seriously injured. A conviction for this charge can result in a maximum of 4 months in jail as well as probation, fines, anger management classes and community service.
A class 1 misdemeanor assault in Phoenix requires the State to prove that you intentionally, recklessly or knowingly caused physical injury to another person. This is the most serious misdemeanor assault charge and can result in 6 months of jail time. While a conviction of an assault charge as a class 1 misdemeanor must show a physical injury, all that is required to prove a physical injury is the slightest of injuries, including redness where the victim was touched or something as small as a bruise.
What can I do to avoid jail time and a conviction?
In Arizona, in may be possible to have your case dismissed by completing a diversion program. This would require a person being charged with a misdemeanor assault to complete anger management or other classes in exchange for a dismissal of your charges. Your attorney should be able to help to negotiate a deal that results in a complete dismissal of your charges. This can often be done if a person has a clean criminal record and shows a willingness to complete these classes in order for the case to be dismissed.
If the State refuses to dismiss your charges through a diversion program, you will need to fight your case at trial in order to avoid a criminal conviction. There are a number of different defenses that you and your attorney may be able to use in order to fight your case, such as lack of criminal intent, self defense or mutual combat.