What is Vehicular Aggravated Assault?

by Aaron Black • January 29, 2012

In Phoenix, and in Arizona, Vehicular Aggravated Assault can be committed in two different ways.

  1. Intentionally, knowingly of recklessly serious physical injury or substantial disfigurement to another
  2. Using a deadly weapon dangerous instrument to intentionally place someone in imminent fear of serious physical injury

ARS 13-1204 

The most common way for Vehicular Aggravated Assault to be charged is when someone is drunk, high, or speeding and they injure someone in an auto accident. If this occurs, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was DUI or Speeding. DUI and Speeding are both considered "reckless" in Arizona.

Defenses to Vehicular Aggravated Assault

In order to prove Aggravated Assault, the prosecutor must show that the defendant's actions were reckless. "Recklessly" means: with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard of such risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but who is unaware of such risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect to such risk. ARS 13-105 (10)(c). This means the prosecutor will try to prove "reckless" conduct by showing the defendant was drunk (DUI), speeding, or high. It is the defense attorney's goal;, through investigation, to show there was no DUI and someone else caused the accident.

As discussed, in some circumstances, the prosecutor alleges the reckless behavior is due to being impaired by alcohol (DUI). There are numerous defenses to DUI Aggravated Assault, including:

  • being below the legal limit
  • not impaired
  • illegal blood draw
  • no probable cause to arrest

Please read What are the Defenses to DUI in Arizona to learn more.

There are many other defenses to Vehicular Aggravated Assault. Often, the auto accident was caused by the other person. If the other party violates the law by making an illegal turn, speeding, etc., there may be a defense to Aggravated Assault.

Punishment for Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault, where there is a DUI and an auto accident that caused a serious physical injury, is a class 3 Dangerous Felony. If convicted, the charge carries a mandatory five (5) to fifteen (15) years in prison. If the victim is under fifteen (15) years old the Aggravated Assault will be charged as a class 2 Dangerous Felony and carry a mandatory prison sentence of seven (7) to twenty-one (21) years in prison.

If you have been charged with Vehicular Aggravated Assault based on reckless conduct due to a DUI, contact an experienced Phoenix DUI Lawyer immediately. Aaron Black is a 2012 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star in Criminal:DUI Defense. Aaron Black has defended numerous Vehicular Aggravated Assault cases with many being dismissed prior to trial or the charges were significantly reduced to probation.

Call Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Aaron Black for a free consultation: 48-0-729-1683


About the Author

Aaron Black is the founder and sole attorney of the Law Office of Aaron Black. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his DUI and criminal defense law firm provides legal services to people who have received felony or misdemeanor charges from the state.

Aaron has developed a strong interest in defending people who have been arrested and received criminal charges for driving under the influence. With his professionalism and knowledge of Arizona DUI and criminal law, he has acted as a check and balance on the police, prosecution and courts and has protected a great number of his clients from excessive and unfair sentencing.

Along with DUI defense, Aaron handles a range of other criminal matters, including aggravated assault, burglary, domestic violence, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud defense, insurance fraud, sex crimes and white-collar crime.

After graduating college in 2003 from the University of Arizona, Aaron decided to pursue a law degree. He followed a family long tradition and went to the University of South Dakota School of Law where he pursued his goal of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

After passing the Arizona and South Dakota bar exams, Aaron joined the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender where he defended hundreds of people charged with serious criminal offenses. His work as a public defender helped him sharpen his litigation skills and gave him a unique insight into the Arizona criminal justice system.

Over the course of his 15-year legal career, Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in both Arizona justice, municipal, state and federal courts. He has argued over 50 jury trials, tried over 100 bench trials and has become one of the highest-rated criminal and DUI defense attorneys in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. He has received a 10/10 rating from the legal directory Avvo because of his legal background and successful case record. Since 2014, he has received the Super Lawyer rating for his work as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.

You can review Aaron’s Attorney Bio page for more information about his background, education and experience as a Phoenix DUI and criminal defense attorney.
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