Charges for assault with a deadly weapon under CA Penal Code 245(a)(1) are some of the more severe offenses you can be arrested for in California. If you are convicted, you could be facing considerable jail time, fines, and other criminal penalties. You can expect your entire life to be affected if you are found guilty.
Fortunately, when you have a Los Angeles DUI lawyer working for you, you can rely on us to prepare a defense strategy most likely to produce a favorable outcome. Contact us to learn more about when you could be charged with an assault with a deadly weapon offense, the consequences you can face, and the steps you could take to clear your name of the charges against you.
When Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges Apply
The district attorney must prove that you have met the elements of the offense under CA Penal Code 245(a)(1). These elements include the following:
- The defendant performed an act that would likely result in applying force on another person.
- The defendant committed an act with a deadly weapon that would likely cause severe bodily injury to another person.
- The defendant did so willfully and knowing that the alleged victim would suffer severe physical injury.
It should be noted that an alleged victim does not necessarily need to have sustained a severe bodily injury for assault with a deadly weapon charge to apply. The act of attempting to complete or complete an act is sufficient for these charges to stand. Examples of items that could be considered deadly weapons include the following:
- A bottle
- BB guns
- Motor vehicles
Essentially, any object, weapon, or item that can kill or cause significant harm can be considered a deadly weapon.
Offenses Related to CA Penal Code 245(a)(1) – Assault with a Deadly Weapon
There are multiple charges related to assault with a deadly weapon that you could also face. These charges include:
- Failing to control a dangerous animal under California Penal Code 399
- Brandishing a weapon or firearm under California Penal Code 417
- Assault on a public official under California Penal Code 217.1
- Battery causing severe injury under California Penal Code 243
- Simple assault under California Penal Code 240
- Assault with caustic chemicals under California Penal Code 244
- Throwing dangerous objects at a motor vehicle under California Vehicle Code 23110(b)
- Simple battery under California Penal Code 242
- Attempted murder under California Penal Code 187
Criminal Sentencing for CA Penal Code 245(a)(1)
You can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) because this offense is considered a wobbler. Generally, you can expect misdemeanor charges to apply if this is your first offense and there are no aggravating factors present.
However, if you have a criminal record or someone suffered severe bodily injury or death, felony charges may be more appropriate. Sentencing for misdemeanor-level assault with a deadly weapon conviction includes:
- Fines not to exceed $1,000
- Summary probation
- Up to one year in a county jail
Sentencing for felony-level assault with a deadly weapon conviction includes:
- Fines not to exceed $10,000
- Formal probation
- Imprisonment in a California state prison for a maximum of 12 years
You could also expect to be charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon anytime the act was committed on a firefighter or police officer, or a firearm was involved.
Additional Risks of an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Conviction
In addition to the criminal penalties of a conviction under CA Penal Code 245(a)(1), there are also other consequences you should be prepared to face. First, assault with deadly weapon charges can count as a strike under California’s Three Strikes law. This means you could face an additional 25 years to life in prison if you are found guilty.
If you can avoid the sentencing enhancements, you may still be at risk for other collateral consequences. You might be deported if you are not a U.S. citizen. You might also face child custody or visitation troubles, and your personal and professional reputations could be ruined.
You can also expect to lose your right to possess a firearm, your right to federal student aid, and be temporarily barred from voting.
How to Defend Yourself Against CA Penal Code 245(a)(1) Charges
Your Los Angeles DUI lawyer may be able to get your charges dropped or dismissed by working with the district attorney to get you entered into a pretrial diversion program. However, these may not be available if you have previous convictions for other offenses.
Since assault with a deadly weapon may be considered a violent offense, the prosecutor may not allow you to enter a pretrial diversion program or plea agreement. In that case, we will need to be prepared to defend your case at trial. Potential defenses that could be utilized include the following:
- Lack of probable cause
- Lack of sufficient evidence
- You were acting in self-defense
- You did not commit the act willfully or intentionally
- There was no use of a deadly weapon
- Prosecutorial or police misconduct
- Constitutional rights violations
Expungement Eligibility After an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Conviction
If you are found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, you may still be able to pick up the pieces of your life after your conviction. Expungement may be available under California Penal Code 1203.4 if you meet the requirements needed for expunction. This may include completing your initial jail or prison sentence, probation requirements, and other individual criteria.
Contact a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer for Help Clearing Your Name
An experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you avoid a conviction when you have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon under CA penal code 245(a)(1). Although every person’s case is different, you can rely on your criminal defense attorney to scrutinize the evidence in your case and determine which defenses are most likely to result in your acquittal.
Learn more about your next steps when you contact our office for a confidential case review. You can meet us by phone or through our secure contact form to get started on your defense strategy as soon as today.