Tolleson Assault Lawyer

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Tolleson Assault Attorney

Assault allegations can lead to surprisingly complex legal cases. While the definition of an assault under state law is fairly straightforward, people facing these charges have many options when presenting a defense. It is crucial to refute any information that a prosecutor intends to bring to trial.

If you are accused of assault, you may feel confused or overwhelmed. Luckily, a Tolleson assault lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group is here to help. Our seasoned legal team can explain the state laws and work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life. We believe you have a future worth protecting, so let us fight for you.

LEGAL DEFINITION OF ASSAULT IN TOLLESON

Assault is a term that applies to any situation where someone allegedly put another person in fear of immediate physical harm. It is also an assault for someone to intentionally touch someone for the purpose of causing them harm or embarrassment.

Assault carries a strict definition under state law. According to Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1203, an assault may occur in one of three ways. These include:

  • Causing physical injury to another through reckless, knowing, or intentional behavior
  • Acting in a way that places another in fear of harm
  • Touching another person in a way that provokes a reaction

Many assault allegations are misdemeanors. This means that a court can impose a jail sentence of no more than six months or order a person to pay a fine. Even so, this will still create a criminal record that has the potential to impact all parts of a person’s life. A local assault attorney is ready to provide a defense against these types of charges.

YOUR RIGHTS WHEN YOU ARE ARRESTED

Police typically try to gain information before and during an arrest. Their questions might seem practical and even conversational, but they have a purpose—to collect evidence. The only way to avoid giving the police information they might later use in a prosecution is to avoid speaking to them at all.

Police must inform someone they are under arrest and remind them of the right to remain silent. They also must explain that an arrestee is entitled to an attorney, and allow someone to make a phone call after they are booked into custody.

The wise response after an assault arrest is to use the phone call to get in touch with a Tolleson attorney, and to say nothing to police until the lawyer arrives. Once they have a sense of the situation, the lawyer can advise whether answering questions is prudent in the specific case.

POLICE WILL SEEK EVIDENCE OF INTENT

A prosecutor must prove a defendant’s actions were intentional or reckless to get a conviction on an assault charge. Many people unwittingly provide police and prosecutors with evidence of their intent when they get arrested.

Surrounding circumstances and the accused’s admissions are often the most persuasive evidence of intent. When an arrestee answers the police’s questions, they often will say something indicating that they intended to frighten or embarrass someone. Sometimes, they admit to engaging in a physical altercation.

The admission might be all the prosecutor needs to prove their case. Anyone who is arrested should take advantage of the right to remain silent. Although it might seem as though an explanation could resolve the matter, in almost every case, explanations without a criminal defense attorney present make the situation worse.

You could be arrested for assault even the alleged victim did not suffer an injury. An assault can happen even when there is no physical confrontation.

Regardless of the circumstances, assault arrests in Tolleson carry potentially significant consequences. Give yourself the best chance of defeating the charge or limiting the penalties by working with Grand Canyon Law Group.

ASSAULT INVESTIGATIONS IN TOLLESON

An assault charge could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. The evidence available determines how a prosecutor will charge the crime, and whether they will proceed with a prosecution.

The police must gather the necessary evidence by conducting assault investigations in Tolleson. If they arrest someone, a local assault defense attorney could investigate further.

PROSECUTORS NEED EVIDENCE FOR EACH ELEMENT OF A CRIME

The state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to achieve a conviction for any crime. To do that, prosecutors must present evidence proving every element of a crime. Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1203 describes the elements of assault. Proving an assault requires a demonstration that someone knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly did one of the following:

  • Caused another person a physical injury
  • Caused another person to fear imminent physical harm
  • Touched someone intending to provoke, injure, or insult them

A physical injury could be as minor as a bruise or reddened patch of skin where the contact occurred. When injuries are more severe, the alleged assailant used a weapon, or when other aggravating factors are present, a person could face an aggravated assault charge. In that case, the prosecutor would need to prove the basic elements of assault and prove the specific applicable aggravating factor.

ASSEMBLING EVIDENCE OF THE INCIDENT

The first part of the Tolleson assault investigation will likely center on proof that an incident occurred. The prosecutor must be able to show that the accused made physical contact with someone or behaved in a manner that caused the alleged victim to feel afraid of imminent physical contact.

The police obtain evidence for what happened through the statements of the alleged victim and any eyewitnesses. If the incident happened on the site of a business or public place, video of the incident might exist. Police could review surveillance camera footage and cell phone video to acquire further evidence.

defense attorney could review the same material, but they would be looking at it differently. An accused’s legal representative would look for evidence that any contact was incidental or accidental, or that an alleged victim had no reason to fear the defendant’s actions.

COLLECTING EVIDENCE OF INTENT

An assault requires an intentional or reckless act, but it is usually impossible to know for sure what was in a person’s mind. Prosecutors often depend on circumstantial evidence to demonstrate intent. They could obtain this circumstantial evidence from the alleged victim or witnesses, or make inferences based on video evidence.

Unfortunately, a person accused of assault often harms their own position by providing the police with evidence of their intent. In attempting to explain their actions, they might inadvertently admit to purposefully touching or threatening the alleged victim. It is always best for a suspect to invoke their right to remain silent and only answer police questions when they have a lawyer present.

When conducting a defense investigation into the assault charges, a Tolleson attorney would look for indications that the incident was accidental, or the contact was negligible. Depending on the circumstances, the lawyer also could look for evidence that any contact happened in self-defense or defense of others. In some situations, a defendant could assert that they were justified in their actions due to some form of external duress. The lawyer would use this evidence to assert a defense, which could result in a prosecutor deciding not to pursue charges.

If you have been accused of assault, it is important to get a skilled lawyer on your side immediately. Even a misdemeanor assault conviction could have grave consequences for your future.

Ideally, assault investigations in Tolleson are simultaneous—the police will collect evidence, and so will your lawyer. Grand Canyon Law Group uses the evidence they find to challenge the victim’s or police accounts of what happened.

POTENTIAL AGGRAVATING FACTORS IN ASSAULT CASES

While most assault cases are misdemeanors, a variety of scenarios could lead to a prosecutor pursuing a case as a felony. Under AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1204, an aggravated assault involves allegations that the incident resulted in serious bodily injury, involved the use of a dangerous weapon, or victimized a member of a special group, such as a child or law enforcement officer.

An aggravated assault case is always a felony under state law. A lawyer in Tolleson can provide more information about felony assault charges and fight back against a prosecutor’s allegations of these serious crimes.

SENTENCING FOR FELONY ASSAULT CHARGES

Under the aggravated assault statute, convictions can range in severity from class 6 felonies to class 2 cases. This means that there may be a wide range of penalties for conviction.

For example, suppose the case is a class 6 felony and a defendant has no prior felony convictions. In this situation, mitigating factors may result in a prison sentence as short as four months. However, aggravating circumstances in these cases may allow a judge to impose a sentence of up to two years.

The penalties can be even more severe if the case falls under the category of a “dangerous offense,” such as in situations involving the use of a deadly weapon. A Tolleson lawyer can provide more information about aggravated assault cases and the potential penalties for conviction.

SPEAK WITH A TOLLESON ASSAULT ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY

Assault cases are serious matters that demand your full attention. Even if the case is a misdemeanor, a conviction will create a criminal record and could force you to spend time in jail. Felony-level charges are even more severe, where cases can have life-long consequences. It is vital that you provide yourself with every advantage moving forward.

Hiring a Tolleson assault lawyer to handle your case is a step in the right direction. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our seasoned attorneys can explain the state’s assault laws and evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case. We use this information to build robust defenses that aim to protect your freedom and way of life. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.

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