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What constitutes the crime of assault in Arizona?

When people in Arizona think of the crime of assault, they may imagine a person who was brutally beaten in a fight with another person. Therefore, it may be surprising to hear that, in Arizona, a person can be charged with assault even if they never harmed the other party. In Arizona, assault occurs when a person either threatens to injure someone or tries to do so. Under Arizona statutes, assault can be intentional, knowing or reckless.

Intentional assault occurs when the accused's aim is to cause injury. Knowing assault occurs when the accused is aware that their actions could injure a person, even if they do not know that it is against the law. Reckless assault occurs when the accused purposefully disregards the fact that their actions would present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of injury to another person.

In order for the prosecution to prove the accused committed the crime of assault, it must show that one of the following offenses took place. One offense is that the accused either recklessly, knowingly or intentionally injured another party. A second offense is that the accused purposefully put another party in a situation in which that party would reasonably be in apprehension of imminent physical injury. A third offense is that the accused knowingly touched another party in order to hurt them, insult them or provoke them.

As this shows, there are many types of activities that might constitute assault. It depends on the facts of the case. Moreover, proving intention can be hard to do. Therefore, those accused of assault in Arizona may benefit from seeking the advice of a criminal defense attorney, so they can prepare a solid defense strategy.

Source: FindLaw, "Arizona Assault and Battery Laws," Accessed Sept. 17, 2017

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