Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges in Arizona

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a serious offense that carries severe penalties in the state of Arizona. In this article, we will dive into the laws surrounding this crime, define the terms "deadly weapon" and "dangerous instrument," discuss the potential penalties, and explore the various defenses available to individuals facing such charges.


In Arizona, aggravated assault is considered a felony charge. This means that if a person is convicted, they could face a minimum of one year in prison, with the potential for a sentence of up to 15 years.


Factors that can escalate an assault charge to aggravated assault include causing serious physical injury or disfigurement, using a deadly weapon, or assaulting a minor under the age of 15.

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Overview of ARS 13-1703 Arson Charges

Understanding Deadly Weapons vs. Dangerous Instruments

In the context of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon charges in Arizona, it is essential to understand the definitions of "deadly weapon" and "dangerous instrument" as specified under Arizona law, A.R.S. 13-105.


Deadly Weapon

  • Under A.R.S. 13-105 (15), an object is considered a "deadly weapon" if it was designed or created explicitly to be lethal or capable of causing death.
  • Examples of include handguns, assault weapons, and other firearms. Additionally, objects such as nunchaku, brass knuckles, daggers, machetes, explosives, combat knives, or any other knife with a deadly blade are considered deadly weapons.


Dangerous Instrument

  •  A "dangerous instrument," as defined in A.R.S. 13-105 (12), refers to an object that, if used or threatened to be used, could cause death or serious bodily injury in specific situations. Unlike a deadly weapon, a dangerous instrument may not be designed with the primary purpose of causing lethal harm.
  • Examples of dangerous instruments include hockey sticks, baseball bats, hammers, box cutters, screwdrivers, bricks, and other similar objects that are not inherently lethal but can cause significant harm or injury if used offensively.


It is important to note that the designation of an object as a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument depends on its intended design and the manner in which it is used or threatened to be used. The determination may also be influenced by the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault.


Class 3 felony penalties

Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Classifications and Penalties

Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon charges in Arizona are regarded as serious and violent crimes against a victim. The severity of the charges depends on the circumstances involved, and they can be classified as either Class 2 or Class 3 felonies under A.R.S. 13-1204.


Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, including charges involving simulated weapons, is typically categorized as a Class 3 Felony. However, if certain aggravating factors are present, the charges can be elevated to a Class 2 felony.


The following are examples of circumstances that elevate the charges to a Class 2 felony:


Victim under 15 years of age: If the victim of the assault is a child under the age of 15, the charges will be elevated to a Class 2 felony.


Victim is a Court Prosecutor: If the assault is directed at a Court Prosecutor, the charges will be elevated to a Class 2 felony. Court Prosecutors are individuals engaged in the prosecution of criminal cases.

  • Victim is a police officer engaged in official occupational duties: If the assault is committed against a police officer while they are engaged in their official duties, the charges will also be elevated to a Class 2 felony.


The penalties for Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Arizona can be severe and include significant prison sentences. If convicted of a Class 3 Felony, the potential prison terms are as follows:


  • Minimum: 5 years
  • Presumptive: 7.5 years
  • Maximum: 15 years


For a Class 2 Felony conviction, the potential prison terms increase:


  • Minimum: 10.5 years
  • Maximum: 21 years
  • Increased maximum (for a second offense): 26.5 years
  • Increased maximum (for a third dangerous, repetitive conviction): 35 years


It is important to note that these prison terms are just one aspect of the overall penalties. Additional consequences may include fines, fees, assessments, victim restitution, loss of civil rights (such as the right to vote or possess firearms), and other penalties deemed appropriate by the court.



Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Class 3 Felony) 5 years minimum
7.5 years presumptive
15 years maximum
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Class 2 Felony) Elevated charges if the victim is:
- Under 15 years of age
- A Court Prosecutor
- A police officer engaged in official occupational duties
Other potential penalties: - Fines, fees, and assessments
- Victim restitution
- Felon record
- Loss of civil rights such as voting and firearms possession
- Additional penalties deemed necessary and appropriate by the court
Fire investigation on accusations of arson

Defenses When Facing Charges for Assault In Arizona

When facing charges of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, it is crucial to understand the various defenses available to you. At Kolsrud Law Offices, we specialize in providing aggressive defense strategies tailored to each client's unique circumstances.


Some common defenses include:



  •  If you can demonstrate that your actions were necessary to protect yourself or others from imminent harm, self-defense can be a strong defense against an Aggravated Assault charge.



  •  If you were under duress, or threatened and coerced into committing the offense, this defense can challenge the prosecution's claims.


Defense of Property

  •  If you believed it was necessary to use force to protect your home or property from harm, this defense can be employed to challenge the charges.


Culpable Mental State

  •  Challenging the state's ability to prove your mental state at the time of the offense can be a viable defense strategy.


Presumed Forced Entry

  • You may argue that the use of force was justified because you reasonably believed there was an intruder unlawfully entering your residence or vehicle.


Other Defense Strategies

  • There are numerous other defenses available, including violations of due process, Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations, insufficiency of evidence, rules of evidence errors, and incorrect jury instructions.
Why Choose Kolsrud Law Offices to Defend You

How a Criminal Defense Attorney from Kolsrud Law Offices Can Help

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon charges can have life-altering consequences. To ensure the best possible outcome, it is crucial to seek the assistance of skilled legal professionals who understand the intricacies of the law.


At Kolsrud Law Offices, we specialize in providing aggressive defense strategies to individuals in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. Our experienced attorneys have a deep understanding of the laws surrounding this offense and can help navigate the complexities of your case.


Don't face Aggravated Assault charges alone. The first step to building a strong defense is to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney from Kolsrud Law Offices.


During this confidential meeting, we will listen to your side of the story, analyze the evidence, and provide clear guidance on the best course of action. Our compassionate and dedicated team will be by your side every step of the way, fighting to protect your future and ensure that your rights are upheld. You can call (480) 999-9444 now to schedule your free consultation and take the first step toward securing your freedom.

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Why Choose Josh Kolsrud

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Josh is an expert in both Arizona and federal criminal law, and is ready to put that expertise to work for you.



As a prosecutor, Josh saw far too many defendants lose their livelihood due to poor representation. Josh will always give every client his complete attention and effort

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