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assault and battery

What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

assault and battery

It is often incorrectly assumed that assault and battery are the same charge. In fact, assault is defined as an act that threatens harm along with the ability to carry out the threat. You don’t have to cause physical harm to the victim in order to be charged with assault. Battery is the actual striking or touching of another individual with the intention of committing harm.

Assault is a crime that can be carried out in the heat of the moment when emotions are running high. As there is not always physical injury involved in an assault, it can often be difficult to prove. Therefore, if you are charged with assault in Arizona, get in touch with The Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier, and we will fight your case aggressively and effectively.

assault charges

Are There Other Assault Charges?

assault charges

Yes. Threatening or intimidating someone also falls under the assault umbrella in the state of Arizona. If you threaten to harm someone or their property, you could be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. If this threat relates to gang recruitment or activity, you can be charged with a class 3 felony, which has a possible jail term of 3.5 years.

Putting someone at risk of death or injury is known as endangerment. In this case, only the risk of injury needs to be present. A misdemeanor charge relates to any act that causes risk of injury and has a potential 12-month prison sentence. A felony charge involves imminent risk of death. Although this also has a typical 12-month sentence, the charge is more serious when it comes to your criminal record.

assault penalties

What Are the Possible Penalties for Assault?

assault penalties

There is a class 1, class 2, and class 3 misdemeanor assault charge with punishments ranging from one to six months in prison and fines ranging from $500 to $2,500. Typically, aggravated assault results in a class 3 felony charge and could lead to a minimum prison sentence of five years, though this could rise to 15 years depending on the circumstances. This is for your first conviction; subsequent convictions for aggravated assault could lead to an increased sentence, up to 25 years if it’s your third offense.

assault definition

What Are the Definitions of Assault?

assault definition

Assault in Arizona is divided into two categories:

  • Misdemeanor assault: Also known as simple assault, this charge requires you to cause physical injury to another individual “recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally;” deliberately place another person in fear or apprehension of physical injury; or deliberately or knowingly touch another individual with the goal of provoking, injuring, or insulting that person.
  • Aggravated assault: This is a more serious charge and involves a combination of misdemeanor assault and an additional factor, such as using a dangerous or deadly weapon, if the victim is a minor, if the victim is restrained, if you cause serious injury, or other factors.


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