Assault with a Deadly Weapon in California: Complete Guide
The assault with a deadly weapon is a life-changing charge, and yet, it is surprisingly easy for individuals to be tangled in the mess. That is why we have decided to focus on making sure that you understand the process of going through an assault with deadly weapon prosecution. The information will help you and your loved ones stay out of a controversial and sometimes misleading charge.
The assault with a deadly weapon charge comes under the California Penal Code § [Section] 245(a)(1). It means that when a person is assaulted by any device or item that can be considered potentially deadly to the assaulted individual, the assaulting individual can be charged for assault with a Deadly Weapon charge.
Felony Vs. Misdemeanor:
The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is game-changing. The latter charges will lead to fines up to ten thousand dollars, if not millions. You will also get jail time for up to four years in felony charges. Misdemeanor will be charged considerably lower, as the maximum jail time for a misdemeanor is one year and fine is usually a thousand dollars or less.
Prerequisite Of An Assault With A Deadly Weapon Charge:
There are a few requirements of an assault with a deadly weapon charge to be filed. These requirements are as follows:
- Proving that the weapon used for assault is deadly, for example, is baseball bat lethal? That is open to discussion, but a knife is indeed a deadly weapon.
- Proof that deadly force was used, prosecutors usually reenact the assault to prove the use of deadly force.
- Act with intent, as in, the attacker intended to harm the attacked individual.
- The attacker has to have enough physical strength to produce the assault.
- The act was not committed in self-defense or defense of others.
So, if you can refute any of these circumstances in court beyond a reasonable doubt, that will lead to a misdemeanor charge.
Getting Charged With Assault With A Deadly Weapon By Proxy:
Now we come to the causes of the charge that are not commonly known. There are many unusual and yet common ways for you to get a deadly weapon assault charge that we will now list.
Assault With Caustic Chemicals:
If you fail to manage the care and containment of a deadly chemical in your possession and the said chemical causes bodily harm, then you can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Everyday examples would include kerosene oil containers, pesticide containers, and other hazardous chemicals.
Assault On A Public Officer:
That is surprisingly common. People believe that the charge usually applies to police officers, but it applies to desk clerks at courthouses and all other public service employees. If you get into a fight with a public service officer while he or she is on duty, you can be charged with the assault with a deadly weapon charge.
Failing To Control A Dangerous Animal:
From rabid dogs to poisonous snakes, any animal that you own can be deadly. You have to take care that they do not harm another person. What you can be charged with mostly depends on the amount of harm your animal has caused to another individual. If a horse has trampled another person, then that is a much bigger charge than if your ferret bits the neighbor's toddler.
Throwing Dangerous Object At A Motor Vehicle:
These charges commonly occur when individuals ‘key' a car or throw bricks at it. This is a common cultural concept, but it is illegal. So next time you consider keying a car or busting a tire, understand that you can be charged with a felony and can end up in jail.
Assault On Emergency Personnel:
These usually occur due to common misunderstandings. For example, you felt that there is someone malicious who has followed you to your house. You call 911 and their representative arrives whom you mistook for the feared assaulter. Now, if you hit the officer, he or she can file an assault with a deadly weapon charge against you. These instances are not too common, but if these misunderstandings occur, make sure to sort things out with the officer you assaulted by mistake.
Assault On A Police Officer:
The big one! There are many reasons that individuals assault a police officer. Reasons range from ‘hands up, don't shoot!' cases, to profiling errors to civilian misconduct. But the assault on a police officer is the biggest mistake one can make. These charges are strongly convicted in a court of law as the associated police force is usually adamant about getting a conviction of the perpetrator.
Resisting An Executive Officer:
In other words, ‘resisting an arrest'; it is an almost cliché assault. As legal experts, we strongly advise against resisting an arrest. If you feel that you are being charged unfairly, then avail the services in a legal system. But resisting an arrest will complicate your case much before a judge even hears it!
Simple tips on managing an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge:
- What should your lawyer aim for when fighting an assault with a deadly weapon charge?
- These are a few major things that should be included in their defense.
- As we stated earlier, turning the felony charge into a misdemeanor is a great success. A misdemeanor is a much lighter sentence; a felony charge comes with a robust cultural stigma.
- In case you have to fight a felony charge, confused on a lesser charge or sentence through plea bargaining.
- Believe it or not, these charges are also ultimately dismissed if the assaulting party can convince the assaulted to drop the charges altogether.
These are a few facts about the assault with a deadly weapon in California that you should know. We look forward to helping you and your loved ones gain the best possible defense.