What is the Punishment for California PC 245(c)?

October 20, 2018


In California, assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon is charged under penal code 245(c) pc making it unlawful to assault a public officer or firefighter with a deadly instrument, other than a firearm, by means like to produce great bodily harm.[1] The term deadly weapon is not precisely defined but it encompasses any device or object capable of producing great bodily harm. And contrary to popular belief, the crime does not require any physical contact upon the officer, but merely harboring the intent and opportunity to commit physical contact.

Assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon is punishable as a felony only and cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. A conviction carries a state prison sentence of 3, 4, or 5 years and a fine amount not exceeding $10,000. In addition, the crime is categorized as a strike offense applied to California’s three strike laws. Consequently, a conviction will carry a permanent strike on your record that will be used against you in the event you are convicted of a felony in the future. Furthermore, special enhancements may apply if the officer suffers great bodily harm as a result of the encounter, adding an additional 3 consecutive years to your underlying sentence. In cases where the weapon was a motor vehicle, then a conviction could lead to a life-time restriction of your driver’s license with the DMV.

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Most prosecuting agency have specialized units assigned to prosecute offenders who commit crimes against police officers. Accordingly, PC 245(c) can carry severe consequences that require retaining a skilled and experienced Newport Beach criminal defense lawyer to advocate on your behalf. The officers’ testimony will be very powerful against you which is why the Law Offices of John D. Rogers conducts full investigations into the officers background and confidential personnel file in search of prior misconduct that can be used to discredit the officer. Call us today to schedule a free consultation about your rights and defenses in attacking the government’s case.

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Legal Footnotes:

[1] (c) Any person who commits an assault with a deadly weapon or instrument, other than a firearm, or by any means likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter, and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, when the peace officer or firefighter is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years.


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