​Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious crime in Los Angeles. It is aggressively prosecuted and may be punishable with state prison. Those charged with assault with a deadly weapon should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order to avoid a felony conviction and harsh consequences. The attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners successfully represent clients accused of these charges, utilizing every resource to prepare the best strategic defense available in order to provide the best results.

Arrested? Request a free consultation with a Los Angeles criminal attorney ASAP.

California Law

According to California Penal Code section 245(a)(1), assault with a deadly weapon is an unlawful attempt to cause bodily harm to another person using a weapon OR using force likely to cause great bodily harm. A deadly weapon is defined as any object or instrument that is inherently deadly or which can be used in such a way as to cause death or great bodily harm. Some examples of deadly weapons may include guns, clubs, baseball bats, knives, tools, cars, bottles, or steel-toe boots. However, a person can still be charged with assault with a deadly weapon without using a weapon. Often, fights involving punches or kicks can still qualify as a violation of the law.

In order for an individual to be convicted of this crime, a prosecutor must prove all of these elements:

  • The accused person acted willfully (i.e. with intent);
  • The accused person committed an act with a deadly weapon or used force likely to result in great bodily injury;
  • The accused person knew when the act was committed that their actions would probably result in the application of force to the victim; and
  • The accused person had the present ability to use force against the victim.

Assault with a deadly weapon does not have to result in injury; an intent is enough to charge an individual with a crime. If the act resulted in injury, the injury can be considered evidence proving that assault was committed.

Penalties and Sentencing

Under section 245(a)(1), assault with a deadly weapon is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony .

Penalties for a misdemeanor offense can include:

  • Up to one year in jail (mandatory minimum of six months if a firearm was used)
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Misdemeanor probation
  • Confiscation of weapon
  • Victim restitution costs, where applicable
  • Community service
  • Completion of an anger management classes.

If convicted of a felony offense, an individual could face:

  • Two to four years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Confiscation of weapon
  • Victim restitution costs, where applicable
  • A “strike” on your record under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Legal Defenses

The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners may use any of these defenses in your case:

  • Lack of intent - If the injury or death resulted from an accident and was not a willful act, their cannot be a conviction under section 245(a)(1).
  • Self-defense or defense of others - A person may defend themselves if they reasonably believed they or someone else were in immediate danger.
  • False accusations – This is a criminal defense to these charges. The defense is made stronger where there are no corroborating witnesses to the assault because the alleged victim may have a motive for lying.
  • Inability to commit the crime - If a person threatens to shoot someone, but the gun was never loaded, it would not be possible for that person to willfully commit great bodily injury.

These are just some examples of how Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can help defend you against your charges. To learn more about your case and how we can help you, please set up a consultation with a member of our team today. We are fully prepared to launch an investigation of your case to gather the evidence needed to protect you.

Aggressive Advocates for Los Angelinos

Besides the penalties listed above, a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon can also affect your prospects, reputation, employment, and educational opportunities.

Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners have over 70 years combined legal experience. Our main goal is to achieve the best results for our clients through skillful negotiations and preparing every case as if we were going to trial. Call us for a confidential consultation and learn about your legal options.

Our attorneys are available to review your case. Get started now by filling out our online contact form.