3 Things to Know About Assault with a Deadly Weapon
In Arizona, the law defines assault as any action meant to cause another harm or causing a person to reasonably believe physical harm was imminent. While assault charges are bad enough on their own, someone in possession of a weapon can face more serious consequences for assault with a deadly weapon.
When a weapon becomes involved, a conviction could lead to several years in jail, heavy fines, and felony charges on a person’s record. Here are some pertinent details for the general public to understand about these charges.
1. Examples of assault with a deadly weapon
By law, a deadly weapon does not necessarily have to be a gun or a knife. It can include other objects, such as:
- A car
- A dog
- An ax
- A broken piece of glass
At the end of the day, anything that could cause someone substantial harm is a weapon. The prosecution will attempt to show the individual knowingly and willingly acted in a manner that suggested a high level of harm was probable.
2. Common defenses for assault
- Self-defense – A common strategy to answer any assault charges is that the action was in self-defense.
- Unable to carry out threat – The legal team may also try to show the person was unable to actually carry out the threat. For example, a person may threaten someone with a knife only for everyone to later discover no such knife was readily present.
- Lack of intent – An example would be playing a game of darts at a bar. Someone inadvertently walks into the playing area, and a player accidentally hits him or her with the dart.
3. Penalty enhancements
More substantial consequences are on the table if the intended victim of the assault falls into a protected category. For example, if a person threatens a police officer with a weapon, then more serious punishments are possible. Similar to the above point, the person needs to be aware the individual falls into a protected category for enhancements to be possible.