Vehicular Aggravated Assault
In the state of Arizona, “vehicular aggravated assault” cases, in general, these are cases where an injury resulted from a car accident.
Keep in mind that in Arizona, assault is most commonly charged under one of two theories:
- The defendant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused an injury to another person, or
- The defendant placed another in reasonable apprehension of immediate injury.
Further, assault in Arizona is considered Aggravated Assault (a felony) if either:
- The injury caused is “serious,” or
- The defendant uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument to commit the assault.
Arizona Assault Laws
Aggravated Assault Involving a Vehicle is a Felony
Here in Arizona, in a typical vehicular aggravated assault case, a defendant will be charged with aggravated assault if:
- A car accident occurs,
- Another person is seriously injured, and
- The defendant was found to have alcohol or drugs in their system at the time of the accident.
Most people are dumbfounded to find themselves facing a felony conviction, with severe penalties (lengthy prison sentences,) for a car accident, but the state uses a few arguments to defend its position:
A Motor Vehicle Is A Deadly Weapon, in the Eyes of The Law
The prosecutor will argue that someone who has consumed alcohol or drugs is “reckless” if they then choose to get behind a wheel– and that this “recklessness” caused the accident which resulted in an injury. And, because under Arizona law a motor vehicle is considered a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, not only does the accident now become an aggravated assault charge, but it also becomes a “dangerous felony offense.”
Dangerous felony convictions result in a mandatory prison sentence, even if the defendant has no prior criminal convictions at all. Usually, vehicular aggravated assault is charged as a class 2 dangerous felony, which results in a prison sentence of 7 to 21 years if there is a conviction.
Because of the dramatic consequences of a vehicular aggravated assault, a skilled criminal defense attorney needs to get involved right away.
Should I hire a lawyer to represent me?
By hiring a lawyer to represent you against charges for a violent crime, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success in court. The Arizona criminal defense attorneys at Tait & Hall have successfully defended many vehicular aggravated assault cases, and promise to fight for YOU throughout the entire process.
Our Approach to Defending Against Drug-Related Charges
There are several defenses to vehicular aggravated assault charges that the attorneys at Tait & Hall have used successfully.
For example, the State has to prove that the defendant’s “recklessness” (usually their impairment by alcohol or drugs) caused the accident and injury. We often work with an expert accident reconstructionist to look at the State’s evidence and determine all the potential causes of an accident. Specifically, just because someone has alcohol in their system doesn’t mean they were at fault in the accident. Mechanical problems with their car or conditions of the roadway could have caused the accident. Or, it’s possible that the person who was injured really caused the accident.
The attorneys at Tait & Hall know how to work with experts to review accident reports, witness statements, scene diagrams, and other roadway measurements to determine all the contributing factors to an accident.
Call Today to Get Started
We promise to develop a defense strategy tailor-made for your unique circumstances and individual needs. At Tait & Hall, you’ll be in good hands.
Call our Phoenix office at (480) 405-6767 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.