The penalties and sentences for an assault and/or battery conviction can vary widely depending on the law of the state where the offense was committed. Read on to learn more.
Normally, an assault involves threats of bodily harm. It doesn’t require actual contact, but the person threatened must believe it is a credible threat.
The crime of battery usually involves intentional and unwanted physical contact, even if the intent wasn’t to actually cause harm.
Most states treat assault and battery as two separate crimes, not all states do. For instance, Texas makes no distinction between the two.
Penalties for an Assault Charge
The seriousness of the threat and associated circumstances will make the assault charge a felony or a misdemeanor. For example, federal law divides assault into a felony punishable by 10 years imprisonment and a misdemeanor punishable by one year imprisonment. Along the same lines, the states divide assault into misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor carries a potential jail term of less than one year. Felonies are subject to imprisonment for more than twelve months.
Penalties for a Battery Charge
Just like assault, battery can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. The distinction between the two classifications depends on the seriousness of the injury, whether a weapon was used, and the person who was injured. State and federal laws provide for more serious punishments when the victim is a peace officer, fireman, or a member of the legislature, executive or judicial branch of government.
The potential penalties rise dramatically for aggravated assault because it constitutes a felony in all states. The crime of assault and/or battery becomes an aggravated assault / battery based on whether:
- A deadly weapon was used;
- The status of the victim is a protected class;
- The perpetrator’s intent; or
- The seriousness of the injury.
The type of weapon used makes a difference in the assault and battery penalties that will be assessed. While states like Michigan do not single out particular weapons for different treatment, states like California do as California has specified different punishments for different types of weapons. Similarly, laws may carry harsher penalties for assaults or batteries committed against family members or others living with the offender, or such crimes may be prosecuted under domestic abuse or violence laws.
Aggravated Assault in Arizona
The Aggravated Assault statute in Arizona is long and complex. The punishments can vary from 1.5 years to 25 years in prison, or more in some cases where the circumstances call for it.
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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.