(858) 373-8201

(858) 373-8201

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Penal Code 245(a)(1)

 

If you or someone you love is being investigated for, arrested for, or has been charged with violating Penal Code 245(a)(1) (Assault with a Deadly Weapon) time is not on your side. Every second that passes is vital.  Likely, the Prosecutor’s Office has already engaged their professional team to begin building their case against you.  And, depending on when you’re reading this, they could be working against you as you’re reviewing this information. We strongly recommend that you contact an attorney immediately after learning about these charges, to help you build a strong, successful defense.

 

Definition

Assault with a Deadly Weapon involves the threatening of another person with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm.

 

In the State of California, Assault with a Deadly Weapon is governed by Penal Code 245(a)(1), which states:

 

Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm . . . .                                                     California Penal Code 245(a)(1)

 

The Elements

In law, every charge carries with it a set of “elements” that the Prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. All of the elements must be proven in order to convict someone of a given crime.

 

The five elements to Assault with a Deadly Weapon in California are:

 

  1. You performed an act that would probably result directly in the application of force on someone else;
  2. You performed the act with a deadly weapon OR your act would result in force that was likely to

cause great bodily injury;

  1. You acted willfully;
  2. A reasonable person, knowing the same facts you did when you acted, would believe that that the

act you made would directly and probably result in the application of force to the victim; and

  1. You had the ability to use a deadly weapon or otherwise apply force likely to cause great bodily

injury.

 

Our office is experienced at finding which elements the prosecution cannot meet, or which elements are weak points in the prosecution’s case against you and, may keep the prosecution from being able to prove you guilty of Assault with a Deadly Weapon under California Penal Code 245(a)(1).

 

Possible Penalties

California considers Assault with a Deadly Weapon to be a “wobbler:” a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the severity of the facts involved and the opinions of the judge.  As you can imagine, the more serious the charge, the more serious the penalties you could face.

 

For misdemeanors: Judges have the ability to sentence you to misdemeanor probation, up to one (1) year in county jail, and/or a fine up to $1000.

 

For felonies: Judges have the ability to sentence you to felony probation; two (2), three (3), or four (4) years in state prison; and/or a fine up to $10,000.

 

Defenses

The sooner you call our office the sooner we can hear the truth about what took place.  Depending on the facts of the situation, and whether you’ve called our office soon enough, we may be able to take the facts you share with us and meet with the District Attorney to keep charges from being formally filed against you.

If charges have already been filed against you, our office is experienced at going through all of the evidence line-by-line to find discrepancies and discover all possible defenses for your case.  As with all criminal cases, most defenses target at least one of the elements stated above.  Examples of defenses in an Assault with a Deadly Weapon case that we may be able to find in your favor include (but are not limited to):

 

  • SELF-DEFENSE: You acted to defend yourself or others;
  • LACKING WILLFUL INTENT: You did not intend to threaten the “victim;” it was a misunderstanding.
  • WRONGLY ACCUSED: You were wrongly accused

 

Each case unique and may be better suited to one particular defense over another.  Always speak to an attorney about all of your options when deciding the defense that may be best for you.  Call the Law Office of James L. Hassey at (858) 373-8201 for a FREE Consultation