Assault With A Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon is one of the serious assault charges in California according to the California Penal Code 245(a) (1). It is defined as an aggravated assault in which one uses an object to inflict great bodily injury. This criminal offense can result in very severe penalties which may include a hefty fine or imprisonment. Moreover, assault with a deadly weapon can have negative effects on your life including the loss of employment, educational opportunities, public assistance, housing and a damaged reputation. One important thing to keep in mind it’s not a must for these charges to end up in a conviction or lasting repercussions. Instead, the state prosecutor must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed every element of the assault offense. There are two components that make up this kind of assault charges. To begin with, the occurrence must meet the fundamental meaning of an assault. Secondly, a weapon that could cause death or serious damage must have been involved in the event. These refinements are vital in light of the fact that a conviction for this charge conveys a solid punishment.

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Have you been accused of Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

In the event that you or someone close to you has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, it is important to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately.  The attorney will help you fight for your legal rights. Apart from just the basic qualifications, you must also ensure that you find a trustworthy attorney by crafting the most effective legal strategy for your situation. The attorney will act on your behalf and ensure that you overcome prosecutor’s intentions of having you penalized extensively. You can find aggressive legal representation at Long Beach Criminal Defense Law Firm.  Our attorneys are experienced in handling ADW cases and are ready to give you the unsurpassed representation. Please do not hesitate to contact us today to get the very best legal representation.

A Deadly Weapon As Stated In California Law

According to California law, a deadly weapon is any object with the potential of causing serious bodily injuries or even death. The most common deadly weapon include firearms and knives. However, other objects such as a bottle, a rock, a pencil and a car can be classified deadly weapons depending on how they are used. Other objects that can be classified under the law as deadly weapon include guns, knives, clothing such as belt, wrenches, hammer, and sharp objects.

Most individuals believe that an assault must lead to physical harm, which is not the case. Actually, the threat of harm in most incidents is enough to warrant an assault charge. For instance, threatening to beat, shoot, or hit somebody could be sufficient for an assault charge.  Apart from the type of the weapon used in the event, charges involving assault with a deadly weapon require further proof on how the lethal instrument was utilized. The most common lethal weapons are guns. An object can be viewed as dangerous depending on the manner in which it is utilized. Here are some of the factors used by the courts to determine whether an incident of assault with a deadly weapon occurred:

  • Threats or words the defendant used
  • Physical proximity between the object and casualty
  • Physical features of the weapon involved
  • The manner in which the weapon was used by the respondent
  • The capability of the weapon to cause serious injuries or death

However, each case is always examined based on its independent facts since none of the factors is determinative. In determining this assault charges neither the nature nor presence of wounds would be used as evidence. All you need is a professional testimony or lay testimony to back the findings. Most importantly, the judges can determine whether the weapon used had the ability to cause death or serious injuries to the body even if it is not provided in the proof.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges

In California, assault with a deadly weapon is considered one of the top assaultive offenses after murder and manslaughter. The unwanted contact with a casualty is brought about by an assault which may comprise intentional, knowing, or reckless conduct. The best example of knowing or intentional conduct is the moment an individual hits another person with a closed fist.

Assault with a deadly weapon can likewise incorporate assaults by threats. Sometimes convictions can be approved without necessarily demanding the casualty to have actually experienced the pain. Instead, they sanction convictions when the casualty is put in anxiety or fear of impending bodily damage or death. For the purpose of aggravated assault charge, a threat can adequately constitute an assault if an individual focuses a firearm at his neighbor and threatens to shoot him.

Demonstrating Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Proving assault with a deadly weapon requires the prosecution to demonstrate that during the occurrence, the defendant used a deadly weapon or hazardous object. Apart from guns or firearms, there are many other objects that can be considered to be deadly weapons depending on how they are used. Therefore, for you to be considered guilty of Assault with a deadly weapon under the California Penal Code 245, the prosecutor must beyond any reasonable doubt substantiate the following components:

  • Your actions were either intentional or directed towards hurting the other person
  • You actually committed assault on another person
  • You acted so using a deadly weapon or firearm
  • You applied force likely to cause serious bodily injuries or death

Assault with a deadly weapon verdict does not majorly require proof that a casualty was really harmed during the incident, just a demonstration that the object was capable of causing the severe injury, is enough. Some things like vehicles are not classified as a deadly weapon, but whenever one uses it in the manner that could cause serious damage then it qualifies to be a deadly weapon. There are other different instruments considered by courts as lethal weapons, for instance, sluggers, clubs, sleds, and blades.

Penalties That a Defendant Can Face On Committing Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon Penal Code 245(a) (1) in California law is referred to as a wobbler. This means that depending on the conditions of the case, it can either be charged as felony or misdemeanor. The manner in which the prosecutor will charge you greatly depends on the specifics of the crime and your criminal record. Decisions of Penalties related to assault with a deadly weapon depends on the following factors:

  • Type of instrument or weapon involved in the incident
  • Whether the casualty in the incident was a firefighter, police officer, or other individuals protected by the law
  • Whether the ADW casualty suffered injuries in the event and the extent of the injuries

Therefore, in the event that you are sentenced for assault with a deadly weapon as a misdemeanor in accordance to PC 2459(a) (1), here are of some of the charges you could likely face:

  • Misdemeanor or informal probation
  • Up to one year in county jail
  • Casualty compensation costs (if appropriate)
  • A fine of up to $ 10,000
  • If you own the weapon involved in the incident, it may be seized
  • Community service

On the other hand, if it turns out that you have been convicted of a felony, you could face the penalties listed below:

  • A felony strike according to California’s Three strikes laws
  • Formal probation
  • Weapon confiscation
  • Fines of up to $ 10,000
  • Victim compensation only if applicable
  • A jail time of between 2 to 4 years in a California state prison.

Also, assault with deadly weapon penalties may differ depending on the characteristics of the weapon, for instance:

  • A Firearm. If this was the weapon involved, one can be convicted of either a felony or misdemeanor. The minimum and maximum jail time when one is convicted of a misdemeanor is 6 months and 1 year respectively. If you are convicted of a felony, you might end up serving 2, 3, or 4 years imprisonment.
  • Additionally, if the firearm used was a semiautomatic weapon, the punishment increases to 3, 6 or even 9 years. But if the weapon involved was an assault rifle or a machine gun, the punishment also increases to 4, 8, 12 years.
  • A deadly weapon other than a firearm. If charged as a felony, one may serve 2, 3 or 4 years imprisonment. A misdemeanor conviction comes with a punishment that could amount to a maximum of 1 year jail time or a $ 10,000 fine.

Defenses to Assault with a Deadly Weapon in California

When accused of assault with a deadly weapon, here are the legal defenses our professional Long Beach Defense Attorney may raise while representing you.

  1. i) Lack of a deadly weapon or use of force that could lead to serious bodily injuries

If you didn't really utilize a deadly weapon or applied force that led to serious bodily injuries, our Criminal Defense Attorney will be able to content that you are not blameworthy of disregarding the Penal Code 245(a)(1).

  1. ii) You acted in self-protection or with regards to another person

In California, one is allowed to apply force and on rare occasion use a deadly weapon in response to the immediate danger or bodily injury. If you claim to have acted in self-defense during the incident, you will be required to bring forth solid proof that:

  • You thoughtfully believed that you or another person was in an impending threat of sustaining severe injuries or even death
  • You thoughtfully believed that applying force was the only option to respond to your attacker
  • You did not apply extra force than was practically significant to defend against that threat

iii) Lack of intent

In spite the fact that being convicted of ADW does not primarily require one to have caused serious injuries to the casualty, it may be difficult to demonstrate the component of intent if you did not cause any physical injuries. Furthermore, there could be a number of legitimate reasons why you did not act purposefully. Moreover, whatever you committed that lead to your apprehension on assault with a deadly weapon charge may have been purely unintentional or may have been misunderstood by the purported casualty.

If our Long Beach criminal defense lawyer can establish that you did not act tenaciously to hurt the other party, a legal defense may be applicable to your assault with a deadly weapon case.

  1. iv)  False allegation

In some situations, one may be blamed for violations they truly did not commit. At times witnesses make mistakes when pointing out the suspect, as requested by law enforcing officers. Also, wrongful accusations may be as a result of one’s hate against you that they may need to cause you distress.

Contact The Law Offices of Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys

In case you or your loved one is detained for charges of ADW, it is important to contact our resourceful assault with deadly weapon attorneys. At Long Beach Criminal Defense Law Firm our Lawyers have outstanding performance, backed with the vast experience of effectively fighting for our clients facing ADW charges. We put in place sophisticated strategies that enable us to project the case in a way that favors you. Our defense attorney’s success is based on the fact that they work tirelessly to ensure that despite your accusations, you receive a just treatment even in cases that seem difficult. They also make sure that you get to understand every single detail in the entire trial process.

At Long Beach Criminal Defense Law Firm, we fully employ every available strategy that works to have your case dismissed or the penalties reduced while protecting your reputation. For a free confidential consultation concerning you assault with a deadly weapon allegations, call us directly at (562) 308-7807 or contact us online and we'll get back to you the soonest possible. We're dedicated to ensuring you get a fair trial despite the complexity of your case. We are in this together!