In California, Assault with a Deadly Weapon charges can be the result of an argument gone bad. Almost any object that you hold in your hand during an altercation can be considered a deadly weapon, why? Because it can be used to kill someone. However, this wide definition gives room for error.
California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1) states that anyone assaulting someone with a weapon, not a firearm, can be sentenced to two, four to six years in prison, or in the county jail for a year or more.
Even if you didn't mean to use the object to hurt the victim, you could be charged with Assault with a deadly weapon (AWD). The most common objects if used can lead to your arrest for an assault with a deadly weapon are:
Burga Law Firm PC has been very successful in obtaining dismissals and in some occasions reducing Assault with a Deadly Weapon (AWD) charges. We have helped many of our clients avoid serious consequences by obtaining dismissals based on common defenses such as “Self Defense.”
What can I do if I am arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
You could be arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon if the officer believes that the object they found in your possession was used to harm the victim. If officers believes that you committed an act that caused the victim to . The police officer will want to speak with you asking you questions. As always, we highly recommend that you do not speak with the police without your attorney present.
You could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the seriousness of your charge. What happens at my court date?
What happens at my first court date for Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
Your first court date is called your arraignment. That day the judge will read to you the charges that the District Attorney filed against you. Typically they are:
PC Section 245(a)(1)
If you enter a plea of not guilty, the Judge will order you to come back to your next hearing, typically a pre-trial or case readiness. Burga Law Firm PC will appear at all of your hearings and in some cases such as misdemeanors, you will not have to go to court if you hire an attorney. Your attorney can represent you in court without you having to be present.
What are the consequences of an Assault with a Deadly Weapon conviction?
The consequences can be costly and time-consuming. Because PC 245(a)(1) is considered a wobbler, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
The District Attorney will look at the facts of your case to determine if you should have a misdemeanor or a felony. In Rancho Cucamonga, we have seen that officers, at time of the arrest, will charge you with a felony; but when the District Attorney reviews your file they often file your charge as a misdemeanor. Here are some common facts that the District Attorney will consider:
The type of weapon or instrument used
The injuries suffered by the alleged victim
Who the victim was: Law Enforcement or a protected person type.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor your consequences are:
Summary Probation - meaning you will not have to check to be checking in with a probation officer
Up to one (1) year in county jail; and/or
A fine of $1000 plus penalties and assessments
What if I had a firearm in my possession?
Well, this, of course, changes things. You could face a charge called “Assault with a firearm” which is more serious.
However, this charge can still be considered a wobbler (charged as either a Misdemeanor or a Felony); but the main difference between having a firearm and not having a firearm is a minimum county jail sentence of six (6) months.
Burga Law Firm PC practices both Immigration and Criminal Defense and knows how to help you if you are not a US Citizen, to avoid Immigration Consequences.
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