CALIFORNIA ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON

felony assault with a deadly weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) is a form of aggravated assault, a very serious criminal offense committed with the use of a deadly weapon in the process. Most people believe that deadly weapon means a knife or some type of stabbing instrument. Assault with a Deadly Weapon could include using anything hard or sharp; even an automobile can be considered as a deadly weapon.
A person faces accusations of ADW when an attacker acts with the help of a physical object which can cause serious bodily injury or death. That is the reason of classifying assault with a deadly weapon as a felony not only in California but by all the states. A person may be charged with ADW when assaults another person with a firearm or other deadly weapon. Using a firearm even not shooting it, but simply pointing a firearm at somebody (loaded or unloaded) is an Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
In the resources of our site you can find detailed information about different kind of firearm offenses in California. In addition, we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning firearm charges in California for free.

1. Assault with a Deadly Weapon
a) What is considered to be a Deadly Weapon?
b) What is “great bodily injury”?
c) What is the Difference between Assault and Battery?
2. Elements of the Crime
3. Legal Defenses to the Charges with Assault with a Deadly Weapon
4. What Penalties Can the Defendant Face if He Commits Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
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In addition, we are ready to provide answers to your initial questions concerning fraud charges in California for free.

1. Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Under California Law (Penal Code Section 245(a) (1)), ADW is a serious crime and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony based upon the type of weapon used, whether the alleged victim was injured, and the seriousness of that injury.

a) What is a Deadly Weapon under California law?
Objects that can cause mortal or bodily harm considered to be “deadly weapon”. Deadly weapon is any device that is designed to seriously injure or kill a person and is considered to be deadly due to their nature. A deadly weapon can obviously include firearms and knives, but even objects, such as a bottle, a pencil, a rock, and a car, can be considered deadly weapons if they obtain the ability to cause harm in a specific circumstance.
Some objects can legally be considered deadly weapons depending on the way they’re used. For example:
1. Sticks or pipes
2. Guns (pistols, rifles, etc.)
3. Some martial arts weapons such as nunchaku, swords, etc.
4. Knives
5. Wrenches
6. Hammers and other hand tools
7. Clothing (such as belts)
8. Sharp objects

The victim does not need to be harmed physically in order to be assaulted with a deadly weapon; he or she only needs to an “apprehension of imminent harm” or the fear to be harmed by the weapon in order for an assault to occur. If the victim is physically contacted the crime is called battery.

b) What is “great bodily injury” under California law?
Qualifying the term “great bodily injury” we can define it as injury that causes pain and require medical care (cuts or bruising, gunshot wounds, broken bones, dog bites etc.)
“Great bodily injury” means “significant or vital injury.” It is as an injury that causes harm.
c) What is the Difference between Assault and Battery?
You face with an assault with a deadly weapon when an individual is put in fear of bodily harm. The harm has not actually to occur, but if it does, the charge may be changed to battery, which means contact occurred even if no injury did.

2. What MUST the Prosecution Prove in Order to Convict the Defendant?
To be convicted of PC 245(a)(1), the prosecutor must prove that the assault was committed with the help of a deadly weapon or other means of force likely to cause great bodily injury.

3. Legal Defenses to the Charges with Assault with a Deadly Weapon
There are some defenses that can be raised in relation to assault with a deadly weapon. We may fight your PC 245(a)(1) ADW charges are:
– Lack of intent (PC 245(a)(1))
– False accusations
– Self-Defense/Defense of Others
– Insanity.

Other defenses include insufficient evidence, intoxication, duress (the person was forced to wield the weapon), and some other defenses. Proof for each category of defense will depend on the various facts involved in the crime.

4. What Penalties Can the Defendant Face if He Commits Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
ADW results in felony assault charges. Felony convictions carry some very serious legal consequences including: heavy criminal fines in the thousands of dollars and a sentence of greater than one year in a prison facility.
The convicted person may face the loss of the right to carry a firearm and make it more difficult to secure employment in the future.
Under PC 245(a)(1), the defendant charged with a misdemeanor may face the following penalties:
– California probation;
– Up to 1 year in county jail;
– A fine up to $10,000;
– Victim restitution costs (if applicable);
– Confiscation of the weapon (if you own it).
Convicted of felony under California Penal Code 245(a)(1), you may face the following penalties:
– Up to 4 years in a California state prison;
– Up to $10,000 in fines;
– Victim restitution costs (if applicable);
– A “strike” on your record under California Three Strikes Laws;
– Confiscation of the weapon (if you own it).

Assault with a deadly weapon conviction lead to criminal penalties and also it is considered to be a crime of moral turpitude. If you are convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon with a car, then you will lose your driver’s license for life, pursuant to Vehicle Code section 13351.5(a).
a) Weapon’s Particularities
Depending on the type of weapon that was used in the assault, the penalties can vary, for example:
• A deadly weapon other than a firearm. This type of charge can be punished as a misdemeanor by a maximum of one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. It can also be a felony and can be punished by 2, 3 or 4 years in prison.
• A firearm: Can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, as long as the gun was not a semiautomatic, machine gun, or assault rifle. As a misdemeanor, the minimum jail time is 6 months, and the maximum is 1 year, plus you can also be fined up to $10,000. As a felony, you can be sentenced to 2, 3, or 4 years in prison.
• A semiautomatic firearm. If a semiautomatic weapon is used, the sentencing range increases to 3, 6, or 9 years.
• A machine gun or assault rifle results in a sentencing range of 4, 8, or 12 years.
If the victim is a police office or a firefighter, you could face a longer sentence. However, this only applies if the person was lawfully doing their job at the time of the assault.

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