althoug Assault and battery Assaults are often confused with each other, and assault usually involves only the threat or attempted use of violence, not the actual use of force. When someone raises this threat or attempts to use force, it is considered aggravated assault, making it a potential criminal offense filed under Section 245 of the California Penal Code. Assault with a deadly weapon, sometimes abbreviated to ADW, is a subsection of this law, detailed under Section 245(a)(1)(PC) of the California Penal Code, which involves the use of a weapon or dangerous object.
What is aggravated assault?
Assault is charged when someone intentionally attempts to touch or hurt another person. Aggravated assault is not a technical term under California law but instead applies to more serious assault cases covered by Section 245 (PC). This law applies when someone intends to cause serious bodily injury to another person without regard for the victim’s life by using force that is likely to cause significant harm to the victim or through the use of a deadly weapon.
What are deadly weapons under California law?
California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1)(PC) defines a deadly weapon as any weapon or object that is inherently deadly. or They are used in such a way that they are capable of producing force that is likely to result in great bodily injury or death. While obvious examples include a knife, brass knuckles, or a Taser, a deadly weapon could also be a vehicle, shoes, a screwdriver, a rock, or even a toaster oven used in a dangerous manner.
Anyone who attempts to use an object to harm someone in a way that is likely to result in great bodily harm can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Even a dog mauling a person could be considered assault with a deadly weapon.
While caustic chemicals can often be considered deadly, assaults involving these substances are charged in a separate penal code, specifically 244 (PC), which is almost always charged as a criminal offence.
What is the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault?
Quite simply, an aggravated assault claim can be filed when the amount of force someone attempted to use against another person was likely to result in great bodily injury. When this standard is not met, the crime is considered simple assault. Aggravated assault is sometimes called “felony assault,” although it is not always filed as a felony, because this helps distinguish between these more serious crimes and simple assault, which is almost always filed as a misdemeanor.
For example, if you throw a punch at someone and miss, you are guilty of regular assault. On the other hand, if you try to push someone off the roof of a skyscraper and they move at the last minute, you could be charged with aggravated assault.
Assault charges can also be filed when someone… Threatens To use violence, even if they are not actually trying to use force. In California, assault charges with a deadly weapon are most commonly filed in cases where someone brandishes a weapon threateningly, as these tools could potentially cause serious injury if used.
In many cases, the line between assault and aggravated assault is very fine, and your defense attorney can help ensure the crime is charged as a simple assault so you can face less severe penalties.
What is the penalty for assault with a deadly weapon in California?
Assault with a deadly weapon may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor in California. This offense can be posted for up to one year in county jail as a misdemeanor. When charged with a crime, the crime can carry a penalty of up to four years in prison.
While assaults committed with a handgun typically carry the same sentences as those involving other weapons, the crime will always be a felony if the firearm is considered a semi-automatic, machine gun, assault weapon, or .50 BMG rifle. When a semi-automatic handgun is used, the maximum penalty is nine years, and if any of the other firearms listed above are used, the penalty can be up to 12 years in prison.
Vehicular assault It is a unique form of assault with a deadly weapon, as these crimes can also result in driver’s license suspension or even lifetime license revocation for criminal offenses.
Aggravated assault on a peace officer or firefighter
When someone commits Assaulting a police officer or firefighter while on dutyThey may face increased penalties. In cases involving an aggravated assault against one of these protected workers, the crime will always be a felony. The maximum penalty for this type of assault on a peace officer is five years.
However, when a firearm is used, the sentence can be up to eight years, or nine years if the weapon is semi-automatic. In cases where a machine gun, assault rifle or .50 BMG rifle is used against an officer, the maximum penalty is 12 years.
Does aggravated assault count as battery?
sometimes. Assault with a deadly weapon, firearm, or caustic chemicals is a hit on your criminal record, but otherwise, it is not considered aggravated assault.
Thrusts to 245 (PC)
There are many ways your criminal attorney may help you fight these serious allegations. If there is enough evidence to prove your guilt, the best option may be to ask your attorney to negotiate a plea deal to reduce the charges against you or the sentence you may face. In other cases, it may be argued that you were falsely accused or acted in self-defense or in defense of others.
Another strong defense is to say that the accident was an accident. For example, while swinging a baseball bat at someone’s head might be a crime, it would not be a crime to swing a baseball bat at a batting cage if you did so without realizing that someone had entered the space behind you.
Likewise, to secure a conviction, prosecutors must be able to prove that even if you didn’t hurt someone, you had the capacity to cause them great bodily harm. If someone with a broken arm put a pair of brass knuckles on their hand with a splint, they could be charged with possession of an illegal weapon, but they could not be guilty of an ADW because there was no way they could actually use that weapon against the victim.
Sometimes the best defense is to say that although you should face charges, you are guilty of a lesser crime. For example, because what is likely to cause great bodily injury is a subjective standard, your attorney may be able to argue that the weapon or amount of force used in the incident was not enough to cause great bodily injury. If successful, you may be found guilty of simple assault but not on these enhanced charges, meaning you will face a lesser sentence.
However, whatever your situation, you should avoid speaking with the police without your defense attorney present, because what you say may hurt your defense later.
Those accused of this crime may also face other criminal charges. Common criminal offenses charged with assault with a deadly weapon include:
- Brandishing a firearm
- Criminal threats
- Possession of illegal weapons
- Domestic Violence
- Hate crimes
- Gang crimes
- Failure to control a dangerous animal
- Neglecting to discharge a firearm
- Possession of an unregistered firearm
- Resisting arrest
- Assault with caustic chemicals
- Throwing an object at a vehicle
If you have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon or any other form of aggravated assault, please contact criminal defense attorney Peter M. Lees to discuss your case. You can schedule a free consultation to discuss the best defense for your situation and obtain more information about your fees by calling (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.