Assault with a deadly weapon is defined by California Penal Code § 245(a)(1) as any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
In California, the prosecuting attorney determines whether to charge assault with a deadly weapon as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the weapon used during the commission of the assault, injuries sustained by the victim and the identity of the victim, as well as other factors. The statute does not limit deadly weapons only to firearms, machineguns, semiautomatics, or rifles, but includes in the definition use of any object that can be used to attack someone.
To prove that someone is guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, the People must prove: the defendant assaulted someone and the assault was committed using a deadly weapon or other means of force likely to cause great bodily injury.
Punishments for assault with a deadly weapon can vary depending on whom the assault was committed against and the type of weapon used. For example, according to Penal Code § 245(d)(1), any person who commits an assault with a firearm 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 four, six, or eight years. Under Penal Code § 245(d)(3), any person who commits an assault with a machinegun or .50 BMG rife, upon a peace officer or firefighter shall be punished by imprisonment in state prison for 6, 9, or 12 years.
If you have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, Bay Area Criminal Lawyers, PC, can help. An experienced attorney will be ready to speak with you, whether you were wrongfully or falsely accused of assault with a deadly weapon, acting in self-defense or on someone else’s behalf, not acting with the intent required, or no deadly weapon or force was used. A capable and seasoned attorney will look into your case and the evidence brought against you, and prepare for a strong defense on your behalf. You can rely on Bay Area Criminal Lawyers, PC for the best legal guidance and support necessary to secure the best outcome possible.