In Arizona, charges relating to battery, assault and aggravated assault are all very similar and are sometimes used together. For this reason, it can be easy to think they are the same but this is not the case. While they are related, each one is unique unto itself and carries with it, its own set of penalties when convictions occur.
According to Arizona statutes, assault is the intentional, knowing or reckless infliction of injury or threat of injury to another party. If the action resulted in an actual injury, it is treated as a class 1 misdemeanor. An action involving the threat of injury is treated as a class 2 misdemeanor. If a defendant touched another person with the intent to cause harm, the charge would be for a class 3 misdemeanor. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, battery is a form of assault that specifically involves physical beatings or other related violence.
Aggravated assault charges are entered for cases that involve assault plus the involvement of additional factors. These can include the use of a dangerous weapon or implement, alleged assault of a minor by a legal adult, trespassing and more. While assault charges are misdemeanors, aggravated assault charges are felonies. The class of felony and related penalties varies based upon the nature of the incidents.
Whether facing a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge, knowing more about the process can help defendants. Selecting help with defense or navigating the judicial system can be easier with such knowledge.