Legal Information for Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon (California Penal Code § 245(a)(1)) can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. If charged as a felony, you could be facing a sentence of two to four years in State prison. Regular assault (Penal Code § 240), is always charged as a misdemeanor offense. The instrument used includes any type of firearm, knife, bat, car, or anything other type of weapon that could produce significant harm to the victim.
In order to prove a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you assaulted another person and you used a deadly weapon or force that would likely result in great bodily injury. An assault charge does not require that you actually make physical contact with or injure the person.
In California, there are also more specific types of assault. These include assault with an assault weapon (Penal Code § 245(a)(3) and (b)), assault with a stun gun or less lethal weapon (Penal Code § 244.5(b)), or assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer (Penal Code § 245(c)).
Legal Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon can result in harsh penalties, including a fine up to $10,000 and incarceration in a California state prison for up to 12 years. Aggravating factors, such as an assault with a firearm, machine gun, semi-automatic weapon or assault of a police officer, can result in a longer term of imprisonment under CA Penal Code 245. Since this is considered a violent crime, a conviction can count as a strike against you according to California’s three strikes law.
The Benefits of Skilled Defense in Los Angeles
Our experience in dealing with assault with a deadly weapon cases has taught us that you may have been acting in self-defense or were defending another with a reasonable belief that they were in jeopardy of great bodily injury. You may have a lack of intent on your part to do any harm or you may have been physically incapable of carrying out any type of assault.
At the Law Office of Cron, Israels & Stark, one of our skilled criminal attorneys will be able to formulate a defense plan which can lay out the steps necessary for your case. We have learned that it is not uncommon for the alleged victim to accuse another of assault with a deadly weapon when in fact no weapon was used and no assault actually took place. Exaggeration of the facts are frequently told to police when you were simply protecting yourself from an attack. In some cases, the alleged victim was motivated by a desire to get even or just an attempt to get you in legal trouble with police.
Whether you choose to fight your criminal charges at trial or seek a favorable plea agreement, we will be by your side through every step of the legal process to provide the aggressive defense and highly personalized service that you need. We have a long history of care about our clients and take significant measures to protect their freedom, record and rights. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our assault with a deadly weapon attorneys, call our office today. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, California.