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Last Updated on: 21st August 2023, 11:40 pm

If you get into a fight and defend yourself, you may not think you did anything wrong. However, the criminal justice system won’t agree. In Arizona, it doesn’t matter how much you hate or fear a person, it isn’t okay to attack them. It doesn’t matter whether you use a weapon or not. You can be charged with aggravated assault, even if you didn’t hurt someone or shoot them. Your Arizona criminal defense attorney will have to find a way to tear the prosecutor’s case down, limb by limb. There are a variety of ways of doing this. It all depends on the facts and circumstance surrounding your case.

Some people honestly don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong when they meet with their Arizona criminal defense attorney. People get in fights all the time. They don’t expect to get arrested and charged with a felony. Unfortunately, it’s not all that hard for the Staet to prove that you’re guilty of aggravated assault. If they manage to do this, you could be facing years in prison and a soiled permanent record. The only way to avoid this is to hire an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney.

What is the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault?

When some of our clients call the office, they ask us what the big difference is between assault and aggravated assault. They don’t understand why they’re facing such heavy consequences when people they know who have been charged with assault get off with probation. The law in Arizona is pretty clear when it comes to aggravated assault. In order to prove their case, the prosecutor needs to prove the following elements:

  • The defendant knowing, recklessly or intentionally
  • Provoked, injured or insulted their victim

As mentioned below, there are some factors that can make the prosecutor charge you with the enhanced crime of aggravated assault. Unlike assault, this charge will carry actual prison time. You could end up being sentenced to anywhere from 6 months to twenty-one (21) years.

Your Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Will Introduce Mitigating Factors

Depending on the circumstances, your Arizona criminal defense attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed. If this isn’t possible, they can still push to get you the absolute minimum sentence. They’ll do this by introducing what are called mitigating factors. Perhaps you have a clean criminal record. This is proof that you have never gotten into trouble before. Your Arizona criminal defense attorney will argue that you aren’t a threat to society, and this was an isolated incident. They can also negotiate with the State prosecutor to get your charges reduced or dismissed all together.

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The State Prosecutor Will Submit Proof of Aggravating Factors

Your Arizona criminal defense attorney is going to work hard to get your charges reduced or dismissed. As explained above, they’ll introduce evidence that shows you shouldn’t receive a harsh penalty. At the same time, the prosecutor is going to be doing the very opposite. The prosecutor will submit proof that your penalty should be enhances. Some of the things that can convince the judge to give you the maximum penalties include the following:

  • The victim was under the age of 18
  • You have prior arrests for assault or other violent crimes
  • The assault resulted in serious bodily injury
  • The victim was pregnant
  • You used a dangerous weapon

The more of these things the prosecutor can prove, the harsher your sentence is going to be. Your Arizona criminal defense attorney can try to poke holes in the State’s case. However, in order to do so, you need to be brutally honest with your lawyer.

Reach Out to an Experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or your loved one are charged with felony or aggravated assault, you’ll be facing very stiff penalties. That’s why you’ll want an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney by your side. A skilled lawyer can poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. They also know how to negotiate to get you a reduced plea. If you’re lucky, they’ll be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely. The only way to know for sure is to call and talk to a skilled Arizona criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later. It’s a lot easier if your attorney gets involved at the beginning. It can be difficult to play catch-up later.