Tempe Police Begin Aggravated Assault, Alcohol Related Crime Sting Tonight

High profile recruits brought in from MCSO. Sheriff vows to stay “as long as it takes.”
police-car-126271-m.jpgTempe Police resources are stretched past their limits. Residents and students are fed up with living under the threat of increasing violence, and crime. Over the past year, there have been a number of startling and significant acts of violence, including aggravated assault and similar crimes in Tempe, at Arizona State University and areas nearby. Some of these crimes have been associated with excessive alcohol intake by students, including both perpetrators of violence and their victims.

Crime Suppression Operation Details
Alcohol related crimes including DUI, underage drinking, drug crimes disorderly conduct, Aggravated Assaults, and other criminal offenses have plagued ASU, and Tempe. Among them, the most serious crimes have ended in death. These crimes, especially violent and dangerous crimes have become so problematic that the Police Chief, Tom Ryff has requested assistance and resources from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Sheriff Joe Arpaio has agreed to provide resources and to team up with Tempe Police to combat the out-of-control crime in Tempe AZ. Beginning this evening The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department will begin a “Crime Suppression Operation” But this time with the help of Deputies and Officers from MCSO. There is even talk that the campaign will last the remainder of the fall 2013 semester.

If you thought you saw a lot of police officers in the area, during last months “Safe and Sober” campaign which was said to include an historical number of officers, prepare to see a lot more than that in this sting. One can expect to see Tempe Police Officers and MCSO Deputies on many streets, sidewalks, horseback, bicycles, motorcycles, squad cars, vans, in and around bars, and parties. They will be looking to prevent violence, disorderly conduct, alcohol related offenses and to make as many arrests as possible.

The command post for the operation will be set up at the Tempe Fire Station Training Facility near the cross streets of University and Dorsey, beginning Thursday September 12, 2013. Sheriff Joe Arpaio vows to continue the sting “as long as it takes to get campus partying under control”.

Law Enforcement Focus: Underage Drinking, Disorderly Conduct, and Violent Crimes

Aggravated Assault is a Felony and considered a violent crime against a victim. All victim crimes call are serious and call for harsh punishments if convicted in Arizona. Violent Crimes have become rampant in Tempe AZ. Assault and Aggravated Assaults involving students and Tempe residents have been alarming and on the rise. Last week, for example, a 19-year-old male student was assaulted near Apache Boulevard and Rural Road, in Tempe AZ.

A surveillance video shows that several young men encountered the student in a lobby and then three of them forced him to get into an elevator. Two of them stepped inside the elevator. The student tried to fight back, but he was brutalized. When the door opened a few floors up, a witness saw two young men standing over the victim with blood on their hands. The victim was left unconscious and ultimately needed to have his broken jaw wired shut.

The victim, believed to be a member of a fraternity on probation, was also very drunk when the police contacted him at the hospital. He couldn’t remember much about what had happened nor who had beaten him. The Tempe police department has made statements suggesting that the rise in violent activity on the ASU campus is linked to alcohol use. The fraternity to which the victim belonged was on probation because officials believe a fraternity member threw a bottle of liquor into a fire and burned two girls. One of the perpetrators in this case is also believed to be a member of a different fraternity.

The Link between Alcohol and Violence

The link between alcohol and violence is not entirely clear. However, a number of separate findings suggest that young people especially should be very conscious of how much alcohol they consume. For certain personality types at least, there is a risk of more severe violence as a result of drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there is a greater risk for violence among young adults ages 18-30 than in any other age group. Lab research dating back 15 years shows that intoxicated persons are more aggressive than sober people. While alcohol was not found to be an instigator of violence, the more drinks a male consumed in the study, the more severe the injury to himself and to others. Alcohol may be a facilitator of particularly aggressive behavior though it may not cause it.

Aggravated Assault Laws and Criminal Penalties in Arizona

The beating such as the one described in this article would likely to be charged as felony aggravated assault. While many assaults are misdemeanors, under Arizona law, a person can be charged with aggravated assault if someone “knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally” causes a serious physical injury to someone. There are a number of other specific circumstances that elevate an assault to aggravated assault, including use of a deadly weapon, causing disfigurement or impairment or a bodily organ, or committing assault while a victim is bound.

Criminal Charges of Aggravated Assault in violation of A.R.S. 13-1204 can range of charges from Class 6 felony (least severe) to Class 2 felony (most severe). A Class 6 aggravated assault conviction can lead to prison terms from 18 months to 3 years. A Class 2 aggravated assault conviction, however, can lead to a prison term of 7 to 21 years. Class, 5, 4, and 3 aggravated assault offenses are punished with terms of imprisonment between these two poles. Aside from imprisonment, a perpetrator of aggravated assault can be fined up to $150,000 and, depending on the severity of the injuries caused, victim restitution.

Other Consequences of violent crime convictions

Legal battles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consequences of a conviction. The severity of the punishments in an aggravated assault conviction can affect you if you are a college student or any other person. A felony conviction can affect your ability to finish college and go to graduate school, reduce your employment opportunities, particularly in professions where background checks are conducted such as law and teaching, impact your ability to possess a gun, and result in significant social stigma. Felony criminal records follow a person for many years into the future. They also result in loss of some civil rights that person who otherwise enjoy such as loss of the right to vote, and the right to possess or carry a firearm. A person convicted of an aggravated assault many also be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the victim in the form of medical bills, or property damage. The defendant may also be sued in civil court by the victim for damages or by the victim’s family in the event the incident leads to death of the victim.



Defending Felony Assault Charges in Tempe AZ

There is a great deal at stake. A conviction for Felony Assault can ruin a person’s life. But no matter how serious a crime, a person has the right to defend their charges, and retain legal representation in their case. If you face these types of charges, it is extremely important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Tempe AZ criminal defense attorney will protect your rights, defend your charges, advocate your side of the story, tailor a defense based on the facts of your case, , defend you at trial, and work to get the best outcome in your case. Contact the Law Office of James Novak to receive a strong defense from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Additional Resources:
Arizona Aggravated Assault Statute
Arizona sentencing for serious, violent or aggravated offenses
Phoenix Superior Court

MORE BLOGS

Aggravated Assault: The High Cost of Harming a Police Officer, Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Blog, August 3, 2012
Assault Convictions Require “Intent” and “Knowledge” or “Recklessness”, Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Blog, June 1, 2012

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