What Are Common Misconceptions About Assault Cases?
The biggest misconception is that people believe that to assault someone, they have to actually injure them, meaning cause them physical pain, which is not true because it would be assault if someone touched somebody and the state proved there was an intent to harm them. People do not realize that even if they do not actually hurt someone, but only try to hurt them or throw a punch and miss, then that would be considered an assault in Arizona because the person was in fear that someone would hurt them. This is called reasonable apprehension and it is the same thing with aggravated assaults.
It would be an aggravated assault if someone pointed a gun at someone even if they did not shoot it. It is a felony to point a gun at someone in Arizona and a person could be looking at possible prison time for that. People think there has to be an injury, but do not realize that all they have to do is scare somebody into thinking that they will be hurt because that could be considered an assault.
Has There Been An Increase Or Decrease In Assault Charges Over The Years?
Offences related to violence probably occur in lots of major cities but it is a situation where law enforcement is more sensitive to these types of cases, so a lot of people get charged with assault related charges where the violation might be very minimal.
Is There A Typical Client When It Comes To Demographic Or Age With Regards To Assault Charges?
Violent behavior is possible within any age group or for any type of person. Domestic violence cases normally have arguments between husbands and wives where either may threaten violent behavior or might actually do violent behavior. Younger people may also get in violent situations, for example: bar fights, disorderly conduct and alcohol related assaults. Some people are obviously much more dangerous and there are aggravated assaults, assaults with weapons and things of that nature, which are dangerous offenses. There is no typical age group for an assault, however, people are less likely to be involved in a violent crime the older they get, so anyone less than 50 years old would fall in that age category. When people are angry enough, things like that happen regardless of the age.
What About Elderly People?
There is nothing in the state that distinguishes age other than if a person is under 15 years of age.
What Mistakes Do Clients Unknowingly Make During The Process?
The first major mistake is when they answer questions the police asks them. A lot of people feel the need to answer an officer’s questions because they think that is what they are supposed to do, but the best way to create a defensible case is to not answer any questions. Innocent or guilty, they should never answer questions. The best way to avoid making a mistake would be to respectfully tell the officer that they will not answer any questions until they speak to an attorney, and they need to make sure to request to speak to an attorney immediately. Another big mistake is if someone actually feels they are justified in committing a violent action. A lot of people think they are automatically justified because of things they heard in the media, maybe self-defense and things of that nature but those laws and rules are very specific and people need to be very cautious before they become violent and should try to never be violent at all. There are very strict rules and they do not apply automatically.
If There Is Sufficient Evidence Would It Still Be A Mistake To Talk To A Police Officer?
Someone who understands the law might be able to answer an officer’s questions with without incriminating themselves but most people do not have ample experience or the skill to do that. It is a very emotional and scary situation when someone gets stopped by an officer or they are under investigation. People do not say the right things even when they are completely innocent, which is why it is safer to not speak to a police officer until they can speak to an attorney. If they are charged with the crime, they can use a skilled and experienced defense lawyer to fight those battles for them in the courtroom.
It might potentially impact the case and might result in them being arrested for criminal charges if a person does not answer questions correctly during the interviews or if they are nervous.
Could Trespassing Be Considered A Factor In An Assault Case?
Trespassing is a separate crime which is not necessarily a violent crime unless it is a combination of burglary where someone breaks into somebody’s residence or their business and commits a crime. There is also the aggravated assault when someone breaks into someone’s home with the intent to hurt them. It can be called a version of trespass but that is really more of an assault because they are intending to hurt them before they go into their home.
Trespassing is a charge that could be charged along with an assault if someone trespasses on property before the assault, although trespassing is a very different crime than assault.
Can The Victim Drop The Case During Or Before The Case Begins?
No, absolutely not. Once the case is charged, it is under the jurisdiction and ownership of the assigned prosecuting agency. A felony would go to one of the county attorney’s offices, under the attorney general and the misdemeanor would be under a city attorney’s office, the city prosecutor’s office or it could be a county attorney if it is a justice courtroom. The prosecutor has to advise under the victim of their rights under the victim’s rightful law and has to advise the victim of what they are intending to file, if they is any plea offer, the victims have the right to be advised of the case in general and are entitled to restitution. The victims are also entitled to get an opinion on what they think should happen on the case. There are numerous different victims’ rights but the prosecutor only has to consult with the victim about the case, whereas the prosecutor has an ethical duty to dispose of the case how they see fit.
There are a lot of misconceptions that the victims own the case and they can press charges or not press charges but that is simply not true. The victim does not have the legal authority to drop charges once the case is in the system because the authority falls directly with the assigned prosecutor.
Are There Cases That Also Involve Women?
Yes, of course.
Is It Defensible Where Someone Says Back In Their Days, The Rules Were Very Different 20 Or 30 Years Ago?
The rules were not different really, they were just enforced differently but the rules have pretty much been the same.
Some people say that for DUI in their days, somebody would just drive the person home when they got arrested, which does not mean there were no DUIs on the books, it’s just that they were just enforced differently.
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