The state of Arizona has divided assault into categories of misdemeanor offenses based on the severity of the actions committed. To be convicted of a misdemeanor assault, sufficient proof needs to be provided beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant caused physical injury to another person intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly.
There also should be sufficient proof that the defendant’s actions put another person in considerable apprehension of imminent physical injury. There also has to be sufficient evidence that the defendant made physical contact with another person with the intent of inflicting injury or provoking the person.
Felony Assault Charges vs. Misdemeanor Assault Charges
Two main factors differentiate felony assault charges from misdemeanor assault charges. First are the aggravating factors that depend on the circumstances involved in the aggravated assault that does not hold for a misdemeanor assault.
Simple assault does not have heavy penalties. However, if you have a previous record for assault conviction over the past two years, then you would be liable for incarceration for the next higher category offense.
Felony Assault Penalties
Second are the penalties involved. Felony assault could make you liable to behave a prison term included in the sentence for a term of up to one year in jail but not in prison.
In the State of Arizona, the court could find you guilty of a felony assault as per A.R.S. § 13-1204 (A). The aggravating factors considered include causing the victim to sustain a serious injury or you are found guilty of using a dangerous or deadly weapon. Other factors include using force that results in disfigurement, fracture, or physical impairment to the victim; binding or restraining the victim; impairing the victim’s ability to resist the assault; choking or obstructing the normal breathing or blood circulation of the victim; entering another person’s private residence with the intent to cause them harm.
More Felony Assault Aggravating Factors
The other factors include if the offender is over 18 and assaults another person who is under the age of 15; the offender commits an assault in violation of a restraining order; the act of or an attempt to gain control of the official weapon or firearm of a law enforcement officer; and assaulting persons from particular professions such as peace officers or law enforcement officers and school teachers, among others, while they are performing their official duties.
The range of charge classifications for a misdemeanor is from Class 6 for least severe to Class 1 for most severe. On the other hand, the charge classification of felony ranges from Class 6 for least serious to Class 2 for most serious. Class 1 felonies are reserved for homicide convictions.
It is important to note that the penalties for felony assaults are more serious than those for misdemeanors. Least severe first-time convictions could imply a prison term of at least 18 months. Most severe cases could result in a life sentence or 25 years.