Aggravated Assault charges cannot be filed based only on a broken prosthetic


Earlier this month, Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a ruling regarding the use of a broken prosthetic as a “body part” to charge an individual with aggravated assault.  Under Arizona law, there are several aggravating factors that can be used to elevate an assault to a felony aggravated assault.  These factors include causing temporary but substantial loss or impairment of any body organ or part. 

In this particular case, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office charged the defendant with aggravated assault for damaging the dental bridge and attached artificial tooth of the alleged victim.  Specifically, the State attempted to argue that the prosthetic was itself a body part and its destruction amounted to an aggravated assault.  The Court of Appeals  upheld the dismissal of the charge but noted that a jury might still find the defendant guilty of aggravated assault under the legal theory that the broken dental prosthetic may have substantially impaired the victim’s ability to use her mouth to chew certain food.  Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas (who reportedly has never tried a case before a jury) has a track record of stretching existing laws to conduct politically expedient prosecutions so there is little doubt his office will seek a felony conviction under this creative theory.

If you have been charged with aggravated assault in Mesa or Phoenix, please contact Criminal Defense Attorney Joshua S. Davidson today.

Categories : Criminal Law

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