Assault and battery are commonly charged after a brawl or fight. Contrary to popular belief, you can receive an assault charge without injuring (or even touching) another person. Assault simply refers to either threatening or attempting to injure someone, while battery (called aggravated assault in Arizona) involves offensive or harmful physical contact.
It’s important to speak with a criminal defense lawyer if you’ve been charged with one of these crimes.
Assault and Battery Laws in Mesa
Assault will fall into one of three categories of misdemeanor offenses, depending on the circumstances of the crime. Class 3 assault is the least serious, while class 1 is the most severe category. To receive a misdemeanor assault charge, the court must prove that you:
- Knowingly touched someone intending to provoke, insult, or injure them
- Recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally caused injury to someone
- Intentionally put someone in risk of imminent physical harm
If you’ve received an assault conviction within the last two years, your penalties will be more severe. If, for example, you’re charged with class 3 assault, you’ll get a maximum of 30 days in jail. With a prior assault conviction from last year, however, you’ll get a class 2 assault charge, which carries stricter penalties.
Class 3 Assault
Class 3 assault is the least severe category of the crime. To receive a conviction, the court must prove that you touched someone intending to provoke, insult, or injure them. Keep in mind that you don’t have to actually injure someone to get an assault charge.
Class 2 Assault
More severe than class 3 assault, class 2 assault means placing someone else in danger of imminent injury. To receive a conviction for class 2 assault, you must have acted intentionally.
Class 1 Assault
Class 1 assault is the most serious category of assault and requires that you knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally caused someone injury.
Aggravated Assault (Battery)
Arizona law classifies battery as aggravated assault, which may count as a class 2, 3, 4, or 5 felony, depending on the details of the crime. Aggravated assault typically occurs when you:
- Use a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon to intentionally put someone in fear of serious harm
- Commit assault on a prison guard, teacher, hospital staff, police officer, prosecutor, or another public servant
- Cause someone else substantial disfigurement or serious injury
Assault and Battery Penalties in Mesa
Class 3 assault, as the least severe category, carries a maximum of 30 days in jail and fines up to $500. For class 2 assault, you may receive a class 2 misdemeanor conviction which comes with up to 4 months of jail time and up to $750 in fines. Class 1 assault is a class 1 misdemeanor crime and may come with a maximum of 6 months in jail, and $2,500 (or less) in fines.
Battery (aggravated assault) may result in a class 2 to class 5 felony conviction. If the crime is classified as a “dangerous offense,” you’ll have to spend time in jail. For a first offense, you could go to prison for as long as 15 years.
Defenses for Assault and Battery in Mesa
If you decide to hire a Mesa assault and battery defense lawyer, they could use a variety of defenses for your case. Self-defense is commonly used for such charges. It requires you to prove that you had an unlawful threat of harm or force used against you, no provocation on your part, a reasonable basis to feel under threat of harm, and no reasonable way to escape or retreat.
In other cases, your attorney could assert that you committed assault in defense of someone else. Similar to self-defense, the only difference here is that you were fearful that someone else would be harmed instead of you. If your legal representative can show that you had reasonable grounds for this concern, it could help you get your penalties dropped or reduced.
As you can see, the best defense for you will depend on the circumstances and details surrounding your case. Your attorney’s job is to help you find evidence to secure a more favorable outcome. The sooner you get in touch with a criminal defense attorney, the better they can assist you.
JacksonWhite Law in Mesa, Arizona
JacksonWhite Law has been serving clients in the Mesa area since 1983. We offer a full range of legal assistance and have plenty of experience navigating cases just like yours with great success. As one of the biggest firms in the East Valley, we work to provide advanced, insightful legal solutions to families, businesses, and individuals throughout the state of Arizona.
From fines, to probation and jail time, being in legal trouble is no laughing matter. It could harm your opportunities in life and even make it harder to find a place to live. Speak with one of our skilled lawyers today to get answers to your questions and to protect your future.
JacksonWhite Mesa Office
Our Mesa office is on the northwest corner of W. Pepper and N. Center Street. You may park on Pepper or in the parking garage nearby.
The Mesa city court is located on the northwest corner of Pomeroy Street and 1st Avenue. You’ll find a public parking garage behind the building, which you can access from Pomeroy or Main Street.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.
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