Aggravated Assault on a Public Official

Tempe Firm for Defense Against Assault Charges

You may be charged with aggravated assault if you commit an ordinary assault on a public servant. In Arizona, aggravated assault on a public official is a felony charge that police officers, prosecutors, and courts take seriously. It is assured that if you are convicted, you will face serious consequences. You should retain a seasoned Tempe assault attorney if you are charged. James E Novak was previously a prosecutor and understands the intricacies of the criminal justice system and how the State thinks. He now puts his insights towards building vigorous defenses or negotiating strong plea deals on behalf of those accused of assault and other crimes.

Assault on a Public Official

Arizona Revised Statute section 13–1204 provides that you can be convicted of aggravated assault if you (1) commit ordinary assault and (2) specific other factors exist. You can be charged with aggravated assault on a public official in Tempe if you commit an assault and also you knew or had reason to know you were assaulting any of the following:

  • Peace officer
  • Constable engaged in official duties
  • Firefighter
  • EMT
  • Paramedic engaged in executing official duties
  • Teacher on the grounds of a school or ground adjacent to the school
  • Prosecutor
  • Code enforcement officer
  • Park ranger
  • Public defender
  • Judicial officer.

For instance, if you are charged with aggravated assault after hitting a judge who sentenced you, the charges would be severe and other judges will take these charges very seriously.

You can also be charged with aggravated assault on a public official if you knowingly take or try to exert control over a:

  • Peace officer's firearm with reason to know that the victim is a peace officer or other officer
  • Any weapon besides a firearm that is being used by a peace officer or other officer
  • Any implement a law enforcement officer is using when you know or have reason to know that the victim is a peace officer or other officer.

For example, if the police stop you for suspected methamphetamine sales and in your fear, you try to grab the officer’s firearm, you could be charged with aggravated assault on a public official.

You can also face charges for assault on a public official if you’re: (1) incarcerated or otherwise subject to custody at the state department of corrections or other correctional facility and (2) you perpetrated an assault knowing or having reason to know that the victim was acting in an official capacity as an employee for certain correctional facilities.

For example, if you are in prison for robbery and you hit a corrections officer, you could face additional charges of aggravated assault on a public official.


Aggravated assault can be charged as a felony, which carries prison time upon conviction. For instance, if your aggravated assault caused serious physical injury to an officer or you used a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, you could face class 2 felony charges and a conviction can result in a sentence of up to 12.5 years in prison.

If you were convicted of knowingly or intentionally perpetrating aggravated assault on a peace officer, you can be sentenced to prison for at least the presumptive sentence that authorized, and your sentence won't be eligible for commutation or suspension of sentence.


You should not assume that a conviction for aggravated assault is assured even if there were witnesses. However, you do need a seasoned Tempe trial lawyer to evaluate your situation and determine the best available strategy to defend you. Potential defenses, depending on the situation, include:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others
  • Attacking the credibility of witnesses
  • Raising reasonable doubt.

In some cases, there are procedural errors or violation of constitutional rights that provide a basis with which our attorneys can contest the evidence. If you were mistaken for someone else, we may be able to raise mistaken identity as a defense.

Hire an Experienced Attorney to Fight For You

If you’ve been charged with assault on a public official, you should hire James E. Novak. He is a seasoned Tempe assault defense lawyer who represents those charged with drunk driving in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.