Posted on September 21, 2015

Defending Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges P.C. § 245(a)(1) │ Los Angeles Assault Defense Lawyer

In California, assault with a deadly weapon is governed under Penal Code (P.C.) § 245(a)(1). Note however, this charge requires the use of any weapon other than a firearm. A deadly weapon can constitute any item or object capable of causing great bodily injury. Typical examples include knives, rocks, batons, bats, or bottles. Contrary to popular belief, this charge does not require any physical touching but only an act that could cause great bodily harm. Assault with a deadly weapon is a wobbler offense which means the prosecutor can elect to file felony or misdemeanor charges against you. When making that determination, the prosecutor will consider the overall circumstances, and most importantly, your prior criminal history. Fortunately, if you’ve been convicted of this offense as a felony, you may be able to reduce and expunge your conviction pursuant to P.C. § 17(b) and P.C. § 1203.4. If convicted of this offense, you may face harsh consequences. For instance, a felony conviction carries 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison. A misdemeanor conviction carries up to 1 year in the county jail and the court usually imposes a three year probation term along with anger management classes. Furthermore, a felony conviction carries a permanent firearm ban whereas a misdemeanor conviction carries a 10 year firearm restriction.

Legal Defenses to Assault with a Deadly Weapon

• If you were acting in self-defense and you were using reasonable force to defend yourself from serious bodily harm or death then you are not guilty of this crime. Indeed, the same is true if you were acting in the defense of another person. Self-defense is an affirmative death to assault with a deadly weapon charges.

• You did not have the requisite intent to commit an assault against another person. Perhaps you acted on accident. In that instance, you are not guilty of assault with a deadly weapon.

• You’re wrongly accused based on mistaken identification of the alleged victim or witness. There are a number of factors which play a vital role in assessing the validity of eyewitness identification. Factors to consider are poor lighting, cross-racial identification, and psychological factors caused by the traumatic incident.

• There could be constitutional technicalities that could affect the admissibility of some or all of the evidence against you. For example, the police violated your search and seizure rights without any probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Or your incriminating statement were gained in violation of your Miranda rights. In the event there is a constitutional violation, the court will deem the evidence inadmissible and the prosecutor will mostly likely be unable to proceed with the case.

• You did not have the present ability to assault another person. Perhaps the alleged weapon is not a weapon capable of producing great bodily injury against another person.

• You are wrongly accused by another person for revenge purposes. For instance, your partner or spouse is fabricating the circumstances for financial gain or to obtain full custody of the children. In this unfortunately case, the exaggeration or fabrication must be exposed to prove your innocence.

Related Offenses

Penal Code 664/187: Attempted Murder

Penal Code 243(d): Battery Causing Serious Bodily Harm

Penal Code 245(c): Assault with a Deadly Weapon upon a Peace Officer

• Penal Code 240: Assault

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been arrested, charged, or under investigation for assault with a deadly weapon pursuant to California P.C. § 245(a)(1), contact Los Angeles Assault Defense Attorney John Rogers at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers. Call 877-888-9820 for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses. Our office is available 24/7.

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