Assault Vs. Aggravated Assault In Arizona

The line between assault and aggravated assault can be hard to understand. Arizona, like most states, has a slightly varied definition of assault or aggravated assault. As a result, we’ve provided an analysis of the two below to help clear any confusion on the matter.

Assault is essentially defined as the following by the state of Arizona:

  1. A person commits assault by:

1. Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person;  or

2. Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury;  or

3. Knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.

Aggravated assault, in Arizona, is defined as follows by the state government:

A person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault as prescribed by section 13-1203 under any of the following circumstances:

1. If the person causes serious physical injury to another.

2. If the person uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

3. If the person commits the assault by any means of force that causes temporary but substantial disfigurement, temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part, or a fracture of any body part.

4. If the person commits the assault while the victim is bound or otherwise physically restrained or while the victim's capacity to resist is substantially impaired.

5. If the person commits the assault after entering the private home of another with the intent to commit the assault.

6. If the person is eighteen years of age or older and commits the assault on a minor under fifteen years of age.


So what is the difference between the two in simple terms? Well, one can be charged with assault even if they don’t physically harm another person. Merely provoking or insulting someone by touching them could land you an assault charge. When it comes to aggravated assault, you need physically harm another person in a serious way to be charged.

What Should You Do Next?

If you or a loved one has been charged with assault in the state of Arizona, the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.

At Oliverson & Huss Law PLLC, we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (480) 351-2228.