Felony Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer in Arizona
At the Shah Law Firm, we know that dealing with any legal issue can be pretty overwhelming, especially because a serious charge can affect your life.
Being arrested at any moment would cause a whirlwind of emotion to anyone.
We understand that in the heat of the moment, things can go from bad to worse. But we’re here to help!
In this article, we will discuss the following topics:
- Definition and Key Elements of Resisting Arrest (ARS 13-2508)
- Understanding Assault on a Police Officer or Other “Officer” under ARS 13-1204 (A)(8)
- Consequences and Penalties for Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Police Officer in Arizona
- The Role of Body-Worn Cameras in Resisting Arrest and Assault Cases
- Potential Defenses for Resisting Arrest and Assaulting an Officer
- When Accused of Aggravated Assualt, Hiring a Defense Attorney is Essential
First, we’ll explain what resisting arrest and a felony charge of assault on a police officer means under Arizona law and the main aspects of each charge.
Then, we’ll look at some common defenses you might use, like self-defense, not meaning to do it, being mistaken for someone else, or the arrest being against the law. We’ll also go over the possible punishments for each charge.
Lastly, we’ll chat about how body-worn cameras used by police officers can change the outcomes of cases involving resisting arrest and assault on a police officer.
Our goal is to help you better understand these topics so you can handle your situation and protect your rights with the support of a skilled lawyer.
Definition and Key Elements of Resisting Arrest (ARS 13-2508)
Resisting arrest is a criminal offense in Arizona, as outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-2508.
It occurs when an individual intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest or intentionally flees from a law enforcement officer attempting to make an arrest.
Resisting arrest can take many forms, including the use of physical force or threats, providing false information to hinder the arrest, or simply fleeing from the officer.
It is crucial to understand the legal definition of resisting arrest and the key elements that must be proven for a conviction.
The key elements of resisting arrest under ARS 13-2508 include:
- The individual knew or had reason to know that the person attempting the arrest was a law enforcement officer
- The law enforcement officer was acting within the scope of their official duties
- The individual intentionally prevented or attempted to prevent the arrest
- The individual used or threatened to use physical force or any other means, creating a substantial risk of causing physical injury to the officer or another person
These elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a person to be found guilty of resisting arrest.
If any of these elements cannot be established, the charge of resisting arrest may not hold up in court.
It is essential for individuals facing such charges to seek legal representation from an experienced defense attorney to ensure their rights are protected and the best possible outcome is achieved.
Understanding Assault on a Police Officer or Other Officer Personnel Under ARS 13-1204(A)(8)
Assault on a police officer or other officer personnel in Arizona is a serious felony offense, classified under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-1204.
In general, assault involves intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing physical injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.
However, when the victim is a law enforcement officer, the penalties are often more severe, and the charges can be elevated to aggravated assault.
In Arizona, any of the following below are considered “officers” that engage in an official duty:
- Law enforcement officers, such as Police, Sherriff, DPS, or Corrections Officer
- Firefighters, investigators, and inspectors
- EMTs or Paramedics
- School employees, Teachers, and Faculty
- Medical practitioners such as doctors or nurses
- Military Police
- Code enforcement officer
It is essential to understand the differences between simple assault, aggravated assault, and assault on a law enforcement officer and the potential associated charges and consequences.
Key elements of assault on a police officer or other law enforcement personnel under ARS 13-1204 include:
- The individual committed an assault as defined in ARS 13-1203
- The victim was a law enforcement officer, such as a police officer, peace officer, or corrections officer
- The individual knew or had reason to know that the victim was a law enforcement officer
- The law enforcement officer was engaged in the execution of their official duties at the time of the assault
If found guilty of assault on a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, the penalties can be quite severe, including substantial fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record.
The specific penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case and the severity of the assault, but they generally range from a Class 6 felony for a simple assault to a Class 2 felony for aggravated assault causing serious physical injury or involving the use of a deadly weapon.
Given the serious nature of these charges, it is critical for individuals facing them to seek legal representation from an experienced defense attorney to protect their rights and work towards the best possible outcome.
Examples of the Different Types of Assault
Simple Assault: A man gets into a heated argument with his neighbor over a property dispute. In a moment of anger, he raises his fist and threatens to punch the neighbor, causing the neighbor to fear that he is about to be physically harmed. The man does not follow through with the threat, and no physical contact is made.
In this scenario, the man could be charged with simple assault for placing his neighbor in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury.
Aggravated Assault: Two individuals are involved in a road rage incident. One driver pulls a baseball bat from their car and strikes the other driver, causing serious physical injury, such as broken bones.
In this case, the use of a weapon (the baseball bat) and the resulting serious injury elevate the charge from simple assault to aggravated assault.
Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer: A police officer stops a suspect for suspected shoplifting. While the officer attempts to handcuff the suspect, the suspect becomes physically aggressive and kicks the officer, causing injury.
In this scenario, the suspect could be charged with assaulting a police officer because they knowingly caused physical injury to a police officer engaged in the execution of their official duties.
Consequences and Penalties for Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Police Officer in Arizona
In Arizona, the consequences and penalties for resisting arrest and penalties for assaulting a police officer or other law enforcement personnel can be severe.
The specific penalties depend on the nature and severity of the offense, as well as the individual’s prior criminal history.
A conviction can result in fines, jail time, probation, and a lasting impact on the individual’s criminal record and future opportunities.
For resisting arrest under ARS 13-2508, the criminal charges vary based on the degree of the offense.
A Class 1 misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest without the use of physical force or threats can result in maximum fines and surcharges of $4,575, a sentence of up to six months in jail, and up to three years of probation.
If physical force or threats are used in the act of resisting arrest, the charge is elevated to a Class 6 felony conviction, which can result in a maximum fine of $274,500, up to two years in prison, and up to five years of probation.
Assault on a police officer or other law enforcement personnel under ARS 13-1204 is typically charged as an aggravated assault.
The penalties for an aggravated assault charge depending on the classification of the felony, which can range from a Class 2 to a Class 6 felony.
A Class 6 felony can result in a maximum fine of $274,500, up to two years in prison, and up to five years of probation, while a Class 2 felony can result in a maximum fine of $274,500, a sentence of up to 12.5 years in prison, and up to seven years of probation.
A conviction for assault on a code enforcement officer can also lead to a loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to possess firearms, and may impact employment and housing opportunities.
In addition, the Judge can choose to assign extra penalties like attending classes, going to counseling, or doing community service.
If an officer experienced financial loss due to damaged property, injuries, or missed pay, the defendant might be required to compensate them by paying restitution.
The table below provides a summary of the consequences for resisting arrest and assault on a police officer or other law enforcement personnel in Arizona, including the charge classification, maximum fine, imprisonment, and probation for each offense.
|Offense||Charge Classification||Maximum Fine||Prison Sentence||Probation|
|Resisting Arrest (without physical force or threats)||Class 1 Misdemeanor||$4,575 in fines and surcharges||Up to 6 months||Up to 3 years|
|Resisting Arrest (with physical force or threats)||Class 6 Felony||$274,500 in fines and surcharges||Up to 2 years (no prior felonies – up to 5.75 with prior felonies)||Up to 5 years|
|Assault on a Police Officer (Class 6 Felony)||Class 6 Felony||$274,500 in fines and surcharges||Up to 2 years (no prior felonies – up to 5.75 with prior felonies)||Up to 5 years|
|Assault on a Police Officer (Class 2 Felony)||Class 2 Felony||$274,500 in fines and surcharges||Up to 12.5 years||Up to 7 years|
However, it doesn’t just end there. You could also be charged with a Class 3 felony if you are being accused of attempting to take a firearm or any other object away from an officer that is capable of causing injury or restraining a person, such as a taser or a club. This does include handcuffs, however.
Given the serious consequences of a conviction for resisting arrest or assault on a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, it is crucial for individuals facing assault charges to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Attorney Arja Shah can help navigate the legal process, build a strong defense strategy, and work towards achieving the best possible outcome.
The Role of Body-Worn Cameras in Resisting Arrest and Assault Cases
The use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers has become increasingly common in recent years, with many police departments across the United States adopting this technology.
These cameras are typically worn on an officer’s uniform and record audio and video of their interactions with the public.
In cases involving resisting arrest and being accused of assault on an officer or other law enforcement personnel, body-worn camera footage can play a crucial role in providing evidence that can either help or hinder a defense.
On one hand, body-worn camera footage can be beneficial to defendants in cases involving allegations of resisting arrest or assault on a police officer.
This footage can provide an objective record of the events that transpired during the incident, which may help to corroborate a defendant’s claims of self-defense, lack of intent, or unlawful arrest.
For instance, if the video evidence shows that an officer used excessive force or initiated physical contact without provocation, this could support a defendant’s assertion that they were acting in self-defense or that the arrest was unlawful.
On the other hand, body-worn camera footage can also work against a defendant if it clearly demonstrates that they resisted arrest or assaulted a law enforcement officer, for example, if a person reached for the police officer’s firearm.
In such cases, the video evidence may be used by the prosecution to establish the key elements of the offense and to refute any defenses presented by the defendant.
Ultimately, the impact of body-worn camera footage on a case will depend on the specifics of the incident and the quality of the recorded evidence.
It is essential for individuals facing charges of resisting arrest or assault on a police officer to work with an experienced defense attorney who can effectively analyze and utilize the available video evidence to build the strongest possible defense.
Potential Defenses for Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Police Officer
When facing charges of resisting arrest or aggravated assault on a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, it is crucial to have a strong defense strategy in place.
An experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney from the Shah Law Firm will evaluate the specifics of the case and work with the defendant to identify potential defenses that may help to reduce or dismiss the charges.
Common defenses in resisting arrest and assault on a police officer cases include:
- Self-defense: Asserting that the defendant was acting in self-defense or defense of others, protecting themselves from excessive force or an unlawful arrest by the police officer.
- Lack of intent: Arguing that the defendant did not intentionally resist arrest or assault the officer, but rather, the actions were accidental or involuntary.
- Mistaken identity: Claiming that the defendant was not the person who resisted arrest or assaulted the officer and that the charges are a case of mistaken identity. This could be the case if multiple people were trying to be arrested at the same time, such as in a riot scenario.
- Unlawful arrest: Asserting that the arrest itself was unlawful, either because the officer did not have probable cause or because the arrest was made in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.
An experienced defense attorney will carefully examine the facts of the case, review the available evidence, and work closely with the defendant to build a strong defense strategy.
This may involve gathering witness statements, obtaining expert testimony, or analyzing any video or audio recordings of the incident by Phoenix law enforcement.
By presenting a solid defense, the attorney can help to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome for the defendant, such as a reduction in charges, an acquittal, or a dismissal of the case.
When Accused of Aggravated Assualt, Hiring a Defense Attorney is Essential
An assault charge carries heavy potential penalties and lasting implications.
If you are facing an assault, it is essential to seek legal representation immediately to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best possible defense against the charges.