Vehicular Aggravated Assault in Phoenix
DUI Accidents Involving Injury
In the state of Arizona, there is no express statute for vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter. Instead, DUI accidents that result in injury are governed by the state's assault statutes which can be found in § 13-1204 of the Arizona Revised Code. While DUI accidents are not the only types of accidents that can result in injury or death, it is common for someone who causes injury or death with their vehicle to be charged with a drunk driving offense.
In Arizona, anyone who uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument to seriously injure another. Aggravated assault is charged when the individual is assumed to have intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused the injury with the dangerous instrument. To understand how vehicular aggravated assault charges work, it is important to understand a few definitions:
- Deadly Weapon / Dangerous Instrument: In Phoenix, a car can be considered a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Intent: While DUI accidents are not premeditated, you may be charged with aggravated assault for getting behind the wheel even though you knew you were intoxicated and could cause an accident.
- Reckless Driving: It is considered reckless to operate a motor vehicle while knowing that you are intoxicated, even if you are not aware of the exact amount of intoxication. Recklessness is knowing the risk of accident or injury and choosing to drive anyway.
Are there defenses against DUI aggravated assault?
If you were charged with aggravated assault because you were presumed to be driving intoxicated, one possible defense is to prove that intoxication was not a factor in causing the accident. For one, even if you tested to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher, the prosecutors must still prove that intoxication was the major factor contributing to the accident. Our firm may be able to look for other possible factors that could have caused or contributed to the collision. Our lawyers may also be able to prove that your breath,
blood or urine test produced inaccurate results or was administered improperly. Proving either of these could be enough to get a DUI charge dismissed. A DUI attorney at our firm is well equipped to fight DUI charges.
Vehicular Aggravated Assault Charges and Penalties
In most cases, aggravated assault involving a vehicle is charged as a class 3 felony. If the victim is under 15 years old, then it will be charged as a class 2 felony. If you were charged with a class 3 felony for aggravated vehicular assault, then you could face minimum imprisonment of 2 ½ years and maximum imprisonment of 7 years. In addition to these criminal penalties, you may also be facing other DUI-related penalties. If convicted of your DUI offense, then your license will likely be suspended, you may be required to perform community restitution, you could face fines and you may have to have an
ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle when you are able to drive again.
Contacting a Phoenix DUI Lawyer
Contacting a Phoenix DUI attorney from Knowles Law Firm, PLC could be the best choice you make after an arrest. You have the right to attorney representation, so make sure you are confident in your choice. Knowles Law Firm, PLC has the skills and experience you need when combatting this serious felony offense. Lead Attorney Anthony Knowles formerly served as a police officer, and understands DUI and traffic violations at the very base level. We encourage you to speak with our firm so that you can see the difference for yourself. If you're facing vehicular aggravated assault charges, call today.