You don’t need to injure another person to be charged or convicted of assault in Arizona. In fact, you can be charged with assault without ever even touching another person.
Assault and battery are typical charges brought after a fight or brawl. An assault is an attempt or threat to injure another person, while a battery occurs when there is actual harmful or offensive contact with another person. The following overview will help familiarize you with Arizona’s assault and battery laws.
Overview of Arizona Assault and Battery Laws
This chart provides a summary of important aspects of Arizona’s assault laws.
- Intentionally: A person's objective is to cause that result, or to engage in that conduct.
- Knowingly: A person is aware or believes their conduct is of that nature, or that the circumstance exists. It does not require any knowledge of the unlawfulness of the act or omission.
- Recklessly: A person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a certain result will occur, or that the circumstance exists.
Assault Classifications and Sentences
- Class 1 Assault
- Class 1 misdemeanor
- Fines not more than $2,500
- Maximum sentence of 6 months in jail
- Class 2 Assault
- Class 2 misdemeanor
- Fines not more than $750
- Maximum sentence of 4 months in jail
- Class 3 Assault
- Class 3 misdemeanor
- Fines not more than $500
- Maximum sentence of 30 days in jail
- Aggravated Assault
- Class 2 to Class 5 Felony depending on circumstances
- When classified as a “dangerous offense” there is mandatory jail.
- First offense, up to 15 years in prison.
Note: State laws are always subject to change. It’s important to verify the laws you’re researching by conducting your own research or consulting with a qualified Arizona criminal defense attorney.
Arizona divides assault into three misdemeanor offense based on the seriousness of the actions committed. A conviction for misdemeanor assault requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did any of the following:
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused any physical injury to another person
- Intentionally placed another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury
- Knowingly touched another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke that person.
Although simple assault does not carry heavy penalties, if you have a prior conviction for assault during the past two years, you will be sentenced for the next higher class of offense. For example, if a person is convicted of Class 3 assault, their maximum jail time is 30 days. However, the defendant was convicted of a different assault last year. Now the defendant will receive the sentence for Class 2 assault as an enhanced punishment for being a repeat offender.
- Class 1 Assault: The most serious form of misdemeanor assault requires proof that you intentionally, recklessly or knowingly caused physical injury to another person.
- Class 2 Assault: This form of assault requires proof that you intentionally placed another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.
- Class 3 Assault: This is the least serious assault charge. All that’s required for a conviction is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you touched another person with an intent to injure or insult, or provoke the other person. No actual injury is required.
In Arizona, the offense of battery is called aggravated assault. Depending on the status of the victim or acts committed, it can be charged as a Class 2 to Class 5 felony. If convicted of Aggravated Assault as a dangerous offense, even as a first offense, you will go to prison.
Typically, aggravated assault is charged when the defendant commits an assault in the following manner:
- Causes serious physical injury or substantial disfigurement to another
- Uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument to intentionally place somebody in imminent fear of serious physical injury
- Commits an ordinary assault on a public servant, such as a police officer, teacher, prosecutor, hospital staff or prison guard.
Research the Law
If you have additional questions about assault charges and Arizona laws, review the following links:
Get Professional Legal Help With Your Assault and Battery Laws
Don’t risk your freedom! If you’re convicted of assault not only will you have a criminal record, but it could require jail time, fines, and classes. It may also affect your right to own a gun in Arizona. An experienced criminal attorney can work with you to develop a case strategy, research evidence, and negotiate on your behalf. If you're dealing with a criminal matter, it's in your best interest to speak with an Arizona criminal defense attorney near you.