Assigned to PSHS                                                                                                                            FOR COMMITTEE






Forty-ninth Legislature, Second Regular Session




strangulation; suffocation; aggravated assault




           Classifies strangulation and suffocation as aggravated assault, subject to a class 4 felony.




A person commits assault by: a) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; b) intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or c) knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.  Penalties for assault range from class 1 to class 3 misdemeanors.


Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1204 classifies certain types of assaults as aggravated.  Aggravated assaults include assaults where: a) a serious physical injury to another is caused; b) a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used; c) a private home is entered with the intent to assault; d) a child 15 years or younger is victimized by an adult; e) the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, school employee, prison employee, health care practitioner or prosecutor; f) the victim is physically restrained; g) the victim suffers temporary but substantial disfigurement or impairment of any body organ or part; or h) the assault is committed in violation of an order of protection.  Penalties for aggravated assault range from class 2 to class 6 felonies.


There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund; however, there may be increased prosecution and incarceration costs.




1.      Classifies, as aggravated assault subject to a class 4 felony, assault if the person intentionally or knowingly impedes the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by obstructing the nose and mouth either manually or through the use of an instrument if one of the following relationships exist:

a)      the relationship between the victim and defendant is one of marriage, former marriage or persons residing or having resided in the same household;

b)      the victim and the defendant have a child in common or the victim or defendant is pregnant by the other party;

c)      the victim is related to the defendant or the defendant’s spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law;

d)     the victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant;

e)      the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship.


2.      Becomes effective on the general effective date.


Prepared by Senate Research

January 15, 2010