In Arizona, assault involving a police officer is classified as aggravated assault and is automatically a felony. Such charges are prosecuted aggressively, which can include long prison time and or higher fines. It is not uncommon for prosecutors to push for maximum sentencing.
When you hire Suzuki Law Offices, you can expect nothing less. As former prosecutors, we have pursued convictions against people charged with assaulting police officers and other violent crimes. We now use this experience to defend the rights and freedom of our clients. We understand what it takes to win a difficult case, even when we are up against the full weight of the law. Our legal team is available 24/7.
If you are facing charges for assaulting a police officer, discuss your options with us today in a FREE consultation.
Who Is Considered an "Officer"
Assault on an officer charges can apply to a number of people employed in positions that involve public safety.
Under ARS § 13-1204(A)(8), an "officer" is defined as someone who engages in official duty such as:
- Peace officers and law enforcement officers
- Firefighters, investigators, and inspectors
- Emergency medical personnel
- Teachers or school employee
- Healthcare practitioners
- Code enforcement officer
Assaulting any of the public safety officers such as the above, with the knowledge that he/she is an officer, can be charged as aggravated assault and a felony.
Penalties for Assaulting a Police Officer
Is assaulting an officer a felony? Any attempt to assault or otherwise injure a police officer will result in serious felony charges; however, the severity of the resulting penalties will be determined by the specific elements of the crime. For example, you would be charged with a Class 5 felony if you were accused of assaulting a police officer while they were engaged in the execution of official duties. If the assault resulted in any type of physical injury to the officer, your charges could be elevated to a Class 4 felony.
Similarly, you could face charges for a Class 3 felony if the police officer suffered temporary or substantial disfigurement, loss or impairment of any body part or a fracture to any part of their body. If a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used in the assault or the officer sustained serious physical injuries, it is likely that you would be charged with a class 2 felony. The penalties for any type of felony conviction will be severe, so please don't wait to contact our firm.
In Arizona, the penalties for assault on a police officer may include:
- Class 2 felony: presumptive term of five years in prison
- Class 3 felony: presumptive term of three years & six months in prison
- Class 4 felony: presumptive term of two years & six months in prison
- Class 5 felony: presumptive term of two years in prison
Taking a Police Officer’s Firearm - Aggravated Assault
In addition to the charge of aggravated assault on a police officer, you could face separate criminal charges for knowingly taking or attempting to exercise control over a law enforcement officer’s firearm.
Under Arizona law, you would be charged with a Class 3 felony if you have been accused of committing any of the following offenses:
- You took or attempted to take a police officer’s firearm
- You took or attempted to take a weapon other than a firearm from an officer
- You took or attempted to take a an “implement” from an officer
Under these circumstances, an implement is defined as any object that is capable of injuring or restraining an individual; however, this does not include handcuffs. If you have been charged with this criminal offense, you should not delay in contacting a Phoenix assault attorney at Suzuki Law Offices.
Fighting Charges for Resisting Arrest
An attempt at resisting arrest can result in a charge of assault on a police officer. Prosecutors can construe a mere touching or brushing up against an officer while attempting to evade arrest as an assault. You need a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who can determine what really happened and apply that set of facts to the law. When you hire Suzuki Law Offices, we will act immediately to preserve critical evidence, which may include police car videos and police station videos.
Contact our firm today for the skilled defense you deserve! We are available to clients 24/7.
Explore Potential Defense for Assault on a Police Officer
In order to convict someone of this charge, the prosecutor must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault occurred with knowledge that the other person was a police officer. Our team can review the details of your arrest and help you explore possible defenses.
We will also review the sequence of events in question with the help of a private investigator if we believe that this will support our defense efforts. Whenever possible, we will seek to obtain a dismissal of your charges. If this is not an option, we may seek to obtain a reduction of your charges.
Some possible legal defenses for assault on a police officer charge include:
- Self Defense - We can explore whether the police officer initiated the attack, which caused you to respond in self-defense.
- Constitutional Rights Violations - If the police officer did not read you your Miranda Rights after an arrest, we may be able to use that in your favor.
- False accusations - In some cases, we can assess whether the police officer falsely accused you of assault.
You can depend on our firm to provide strong advocacy at all stages of the legal process.
"He answered all my questions free of charge and was very helpful."Linda
"Richard J Suzuki is an outstanding lawyer, extremely professional and responsive. The absolute best experience, my family and I were beyond content with the overall outcome."Rosa
"When I got into trouble with the law I didn’t know where to turn. Mr. O’Sullivan was immediately assigned to my case and I felt a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders."Justine F