Assault With Deadly Weapon

Los Angeles Assault With Deadly Weapon Attorney

Criminal Defense Attorneys Representing Individuals Accused of Assault With a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon may be charged as either a felony or as a misdemeanor, but in either case, the penalties upon conviction can still be severe. In the State of California, assault with a deadly weapon is governed by Section 245(a)(1) of the California Penal Code. The Penal Code defines this offense as an assault that is committed with a gun, knife, or other deadly weapon – or by means of force which are likely to produce great bodily harm.

Meanwhile, a run-of-the mill assault charge in California is defined as an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury on someone else, when the offender has a clear, present, and immediate ability to carry out that action.

An assault with a deadly weapon might involve a driver firing a gun at the driver of another vehicle who took his parking place at a store parking lot. A less common example is when a person uses some other means – such as a ferocious pet – to attack another person and carry out the harm. Regardless of the specifics of your case, assault with a deadly weapon is a serious crime that can result in harsh criminal penalties. Fortunately, however, there are often ways that an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help. In some cases, it may be possible to have the offense of which you are accused reduced to a less-serious or even have the case dropped completely. For this reason, it is critical for anyone facing an assault with a deadly weapon case to speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Other Examples of Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon charges can involve many things. It can include pointing a gun, brandishing a weapon or dangerous object, even using ones hands and feet. What is important is that when acting, the person used the object, or their body, in a manner that would probably result in the application of force to another and that they did so willingly. I have many years of experience with this charge, and have seen it in many various forms. Self Defense can be a powerful defense to this charge, and one that I have employed in the past to help defend my clients. This would require that the person only acted in the manner in which they did because they had a reasonably fear that themselves or another was at the risk of suffering great bodily harm or injury.

Legal Penalties

Assault with a deadly weapon may be charged as either a felony or as a misdemeanor, depending upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the assault, including the following:

  • The victim’s status as a police officer or other protected individual
  • The type of weapon used in connection with the assault charge
  • The injury or injuries, if any, sustained by the assault victim

If the charge is deemed a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence upon conviction is 1 year in the county jail. A felony conviction could result in 1-4 years in state prison. That number is subject to increase if the weapon used during the assault was a firearm.

Legal Defenses

There are many ways that a lawyer may be able to help defend against allegations of assault with a deadly weapon. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Self- Defense ­– Self-defense involves introducing facts that show that you were acting in response to a threat posed by the person who has injured by your actions. It is a highly technical defense that involves much more that suggesting that the other person started your altercation – you need to be able to establish that your use of force was reasonable in light of the perceived threat. As a result, anyone claiming self-defense should do so with the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
  • The Suppression of Evidence – If you can show that your rights were violated by the police when they were investigating your case, it may be possible to suppress evidence that is essential to the prosecution’ case against you. Even if the evidence is not essential, suppressing evidence may weaken the case in a way that increases your chances of obtaining an acquittal or a favorable plea bargain.

Reviewing Your Assault with a Deadly Weapon Case

As you might guess assault with a deadly weapon is a serious crime and your first move should be to meet with a seasoned criminal defense attorney to discuss your options and best strategy. Over the course of the past 25 years of defending these type of cases, I have seen the clients who had a game plan from the beginning of the case have the most success. Clients who tried to handle everything themselves from the start have usually ended up in a disastrous situation that is not easy to get out of and costs them dearly. The key to the defense of any criminal case is looking at the evidence for and against the accused, seeing what other evidence might be available with investigation and then making the right moves under the circumstances. Only the best and most savvy criminal defense attorney know how to handle these cases the right way.

An assault with a deadly weapon charged is what is known as a “wobbler” in criminal defense that can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on how serious the person’s actions were. If the case is charged as a felony and the person pleads guilty or is found guilty, they will end up with strike on their record and will serve 85% of any custody time they get. With such serious consequences on the line, it is imperative that the person get a solid game plan together on how to handle the case from the beginning. Obviously not all strategies will be the same. Some will be an aggressive defense, while others will be more cautious because of the potential ramifications and the evidence the prosecutors have against the defendant. If the prosecutors have the evidence to prove the case against the person charged, it is probably not a good idea to be aggressive with them in the defending the case. If on the other hand, their case is weak, then an aggressive defense will likely go to the benefit of the client.

What Can Be Considered a Deadly Weapon?

Anything can be a deadly weapon as long as it is capable of inflicting serious or deadly force against another. I have seen such things as cars, feet, sticks and of course guns, knives and baseball bats being considered deadly weapons. Further, it is not necessary that the force used actually make contact with the other party. Pointing a gun at someone or driving a car at them in a threatening manner are both examples of assault with a deadly weapon cases that police and prosecutors take very seriously. I encourage you to come sit down under the umbrella of the attorney client privilege so we can decide which approach is the best for you under the circumstances of your case and make the right moves from the start of your case.

Call a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in Los Angeles County, you need experienced legal representation on your side throughout your case. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney may be able to assist you with formulating legal defenses and advocating for you in court.

Contact the experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Hedding Law Firm today at 866-986-2092, for a free initial consultation.