Assault is generally considered, in conversational speaking, to mean to lay hands on another person for the purpose of doing them bodily harm. Commonly understood, this means to punch, hit, slap, or perhaps push another person. We most likely think of a school-yard fight or a bar room brawl as examples of assault, outside of the more complex area of domestic violence. I would like to take the next few paragraphs to explain that assault can actually refer to far less aggressive acts, and at the same time have serious consequences for the accused. I will also discuss what to do if you have been arrested or charged with assault.
First, let’s go over the Arizona Revised Statute Title 13, Chapter 12. Specifically, Section 3 which deals with the crime commonly known as assault.
A. A person commits assault by:
1. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; or
2. Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or
3. Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.
B. Assault committed intentionally or knowingly pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 is a class 1 misdemeanor. Assault committed recklessly pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 or assault pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 2 is a class 2 misdemeanor. Assault committed pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 3 is a class 3 misdemeanor.
In case you have a hard time with legal jargon, let me break that down in layman’s terms. You commit assault (a misdemeanor) if you:
(1) Injure another person
(2) Place a person in fear of being injured
(3) Touch another person, specifically trying to hurt, insult, or provoke them (such as pushing someone to start a fight).
This is a far different understanding than most people have, and it has serious implications for those who don’t understand it. While most of us will go the majority of our adult lives never having a confrontation with another grown-up, sometimes we are placed into situations not of our own choosing. Should you have to escape from such a situation, or protect your family in one, you should be aware that of this statute. If you so much as lay a finger on a person who has not, as of yet, caused you injury then you may be charged with assault.
Suppose you are in the grocery store, and have a run-in with an “upset” homeless person. Regardless of whether or not they are attempting to take something from you, or are scaring your family, if you touch them you may find yourself placed under arrest for assaulting them. Self-defense exceptions, highlighted in another of my articles, specifically refer to times when you are in immediate fear of being injured or a third party being injured.
Simply put, consider yourself warned. In today’s society, you are almost never allowed to lay your hands on another person forcefully. Should you do so, you may find yourself in the custody of the authorities, and potentially charged with a crime.
If you have been charged with a crime, your first step should be to contact a criminal defense lawyer. Criminal defense attorneys are aware of all of the exceptions and complexities surrounding ARS 13, and may be able to negotiate with the State on your behalf if you find yourself in trouble.
Cias Hart is a veteran and lifelong resident of Arizona. It is important in today’s society that you understand the complexities of the legal system. If you live in the greater metro area, it is in your best interest to contact a reputable criminal defense attorney in Phoenix [http://www.criminalattorneyphoenixaz.com] before you are charged with a crime so you are not fumbling at the last minute to find a good legal defender. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer [http://www.criminalattorneyphoenixaz.com] immediately; your freedom may be at stake!