If you are reading this post, there is a good chance that you or someone you care about has been accused of assault with a deadly weapon. Whether charged as a misdemeanor or felony, assault with a deadly weapon is considered a violent offense.
Today, there is a lot of emphasis in our justice system on prosecuting violent offenses to the full extent of the law. Because of this, criminal prosecutors and law enforcement officials have a vast amount of resources at their disposal when prosecuting a violent offense.
Therefore, if you are arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, you will need the resources and expertise of an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to successfully defend the charge.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in Southern California, call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 to discuss your case and to learn more about how we can help.
California Penal Code 245: Assault With A Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon is one of the most frequently charged assault offenses in California. It can be charged in a multitude of ways, for example:
- CPC 245(a)(1) is assault with a deadly weapon;
- CPC 245(a)(2) is assault with a firearm; and
- CPC 245(a)(3) is assault with a machine gun or assault rifle
- CPC 245(a)(4) is assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury
To put it simply, an assault with a deadly weapon is an assault involving the use of any physical object that can cause serious bodily injury or kill someone.
When most people think of a deadly weapon, they think about a knife, gun, or something traditionally used to kill someone. But, in California, a deadly weapon can be anything that can be used to inflict serious injury or take someone’s life. Theoretically, then, almost anything can be considered a deadly weapon under CPC 245.
What’s more, even though it is commonly referred to as “assault with a deadly weapon” you don’t actually have to use a weapon to be found guilty of the offense. CPC 245(a)(4) is an assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, meaning that you don’t even need to have used a weapon to be convicted under CPC 245.
The Penalties for Assault With a Deadly Weapon in California
The penalties you will receive if convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in California will vary widely depending on the circumstances.
An assault with a deadly weapon that was not carried out with a firearm or a vehicle can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, while punishment for a felony can be up to 4 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Whenever there is a firearm involved in an assault with a deadly weapon there is a mandatory minimum sentence if charged as a misdemeanor of not less than 6 months in the county jail. If charged as a felony it is punishable by 2, 3, or 4 years, or even up to 12 years if an assault weapon, in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, there are a variety of enhancements that can be alleged by the prosecution and that will increase the severity of the penalties you receive. Enhancements are specific details about how the offense was committed that make it much more serious in the eyes of the law and therefore, result in you receiving a much harsher sentence when convicted.
There are several enhancements that can turn a conviction for an assault with a deadly weapon into a 9-year prison sentence. Furthermore, if there was a gang element involved in the offense, a conviction can lead to a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Moreover, under certain circumstances, an assault with a deadly weapon that is charged as a felony will also be considered a strike under California’s “3 strikes” law, which is always a very serious situation.
Defending an Assault With a Deadly Weapon Charge In California
When someone hires our law firm to represent them and they have been accused of assault with a deadly weapon, we sit down with them and decide what the possible defenses are in their case. In most cases, the obvious defense is that you acted in self-defense.
Also, there are two things unique about assault crimes:
- They are often alleged to have happened in a public place, whether in a bar or on the street; and
- Because there is a camera in almost every place of business and on every corner, the incident is often recorded.
This gives your defense attorney the ability to gain access to these cameras and use the footage they have recorded to show what actually occurred is not what the prosecutor, law enforcement, and even witnesses say happened.
Two people witnessing a crime will never see it the same way. As your defense attorneys, one of our jobs is to uncover the truth and to relay that truth to the prosecutor before charges are formally filed against you or as soon as possible thereafter.
Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian
If you or someone you care about has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, or San Diego Counties of Southern California, we can work with you to devise a defense strategy toward getting the charges reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed. Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 or contact us here online to request a free consultation.