What is an "assault with a deadly weapon" charge in California?

California Penal Code Section 245 is the section that defines assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury. Section 245 also defines the various punishments given if a person is convicted of that charge.

Penal Code Section 245(a)(1) states that any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm 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 $10,000 or by both the fine and imprisonment.

To prove someone guilty of a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor for the state must show that the person did the act with a deadly weapon that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person. The prosecutor must also show that when the person acted that she or he had the present ability to apply force likely to produce likely to produce great bodily injury with a deadly weapon to a person. The term force or application of force means to touch a person in a harmful or offensive manner. Slight touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or angry way. Even making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, can be enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind.

A deadly weapon is any object, instrument or weapon that is inherently deadly or dangerous or one that is used in such a way that is capable of causing and likely to cause death or great bodily injury.

A defense to assault with a deadly weapon can include self-defense or defense of others. Whenever you or someone you know is charged with an assault with a deadly weapon it is important that you contact the David Gonzalez Law Firm in order to get immediate legal help with this serious criminal charge. If you are contacted by any law enforcement officer requesting that you speak with such authority, you must remember that you have a legal right to remain silent. Although you may be told by such law enforcement that your speaking or discussions with them will help you to prevent harsher legal consequences, experience shows that law enforcement will use anything you say voluntarily against you when you end up being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Speak only to Santa Ana Attorney David Gonzalez by calling his office and arranging for a confidential consultation. Call now and retain the experience of a criminal defense attorney. The Gonzalez Law Firm helps all clients with criminal charges in all counties throughout the State of California.

~ David Gonzalez