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Under California’s assault law, Penal Code § 240, an assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. The punishment for assault, according to Penal Code § 241, is a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both the fine and imprisonment. Punishments for assault can vary depending on whom the assault was committed against and where the assault occurred. When an assault is committed against a teacher, peace officer, firefighter, or occurs in a public place such as a school or park, or on public transportation, like a bus or train, the penalties can be substantially more severe if convicted.

Under California’s assault with a deadly weapon law, Penal Code § 245(a)(1), 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. The punishment can vary and increase depending on the facts of the case.

The prosecuting attorney can decide whether to charge assault as a misdemeanor or a felony in California, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the identity of the victim, whether there was a weapon used during the commission of the assault, the actual weapon used during the commission of the assault, as well as the injuries sustained by the victim. The victim does not have to sustain an actual injury for the court to consider the assault attempt by the accused a felony. The statute does not limit deadly weapons only to firearms, machineguns, semiautomatics, or rifles. A deadly weapon can be any object that can be used to attack someone.

At Bay Area Criminal Lawyers, PC, we realize being arrested on felony charges is serious and can often result in life-altering consequences. We are dedicated to providing each of our clients with a skilled, personal approach and the support you need during your case. We understand your situation, whether you were wrongfully or falsely accused of felony assault, you acted in self-defense or on someone else’s behalf, you did not act with the intent required, or you did not use a deadly weapon or the force necessary to cause great bodily injury. To protect your legal rights, freedom, and future, it is important you seek the best legal guidance from an experienced attorney. With our firm bringing more than 20 years of experience to the table, you can depend on a qualified attorney to secure a more favorable outcome for you.