Is Geno Smith a Victim of Aggravated Assault?

Many were stunned last week when New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith had his jaw broken after being sucker punched in a locker room brawl by IK Enemkpali. If the incident had occurred in Arizona, Smith may have become a victim of aggravated assault.

In Arizona, an assault occurs when someone:

  • Places another in imminent apprehension of physical injury
  • Touches another without consent

Aggravated assault is most commonly committed with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. This typically involves shooting someone with a gun or stabbing someone with a knife. Aggravated assault can be a vehicular crime as well, as prosecutors commonly allege that a vehicle was used as a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument in cases involving accidents caused by drunk drivers which result in injury.

Examples of Aggravated Assault

In addition to scenarios in which a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used, Arizona law lists many circumstances in which an assault can be elevated to a felony aggravated assault.

Among those scenarios are:

  • Assault on a police officer
  • Assault on a health care worker
  • Assault on a teacher
  • Assault on a victim whose ability to resist is substantially diminished
  • Assault on someone under the age of 15

Going back to the Jets sidelined quarterback who will be sucking on milkshakes for the foreseeable future, Arizona law also classifies a temporary but substantial injury as aggravated assault. In what is informally known as the “bone break” rule, if a fracture occurs, prosecutors usually file aggravated assault charges. If prosecutors determine that serious physical injury occurred (usually viewed as a life-threatening injury), then another variety of aggravated assault may be appropriate and this variety of the charge carries mandatory prison upon conviction.

IK Enemkpali could be charged with aggravated assault for breaking Geno Smith’s jaw. While there may have been a scuffle, Enemkpali’s ability to claim that he assaulted Smith in self-defense is weak at best. Though Geno Smith may never seek prosecution for aggravated assault, the NFL may suspend Enemkpali. This would likely mean the end of a marginal player’s career. Though, if he’s willing to break a teammate’s jaw over a $600 debt, he probably doesn’t have the mental toughness to play professional football.

Legal Help for Aggravated Assault

If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated assault, legal representation is needed fast! At the Law Office of Jason D. Lamm, our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer can provide your case with skilled and aggressive advocacy to ensure that you are being protected. Contact our Phoenix law firm today to get the legal counsel you deserve!

Call (602) 663-9100 to speak with our criminal defense attorney about your case.

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