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Under California Penal Code section 245(a)(1), assault with a Deadly Weapon is the threat of force upon another done with the intent to inflict great bodily injury using a weapon. Assault is a general intent crime which means the defendant could specifically intent to harm someone or his conduct is reckless such that  injury to someone was likely.

Assault is punishable either as a felony or a misdemeanor. Therefore, it is considered a “wobbler” offense.

Misdemeanor Assault

Under California law, simple assault as a misdemeanor is usually charged if one by his conduct places another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm. In Los Angeles courts, simple assaults is ordinarily charged if a weapon is not used and no serious injury to the victim is caused. If the alleged victim of the assault is your wife, girlfriend or your partner, you could be charged with Domestic Violence.

Felony Assault

Aggravated Assault is a form of assault whereby a weapon such as a knife or a gun, or an object likely to produce death or great bodily injury is used. This is usually charged under California Penal Code 245(a)(1). A felony assault charge does not require the use of a weapon. However, if a weapon is used, the crime is usually referred to as assault with a deadly weapon or ADW. The weapon used could be a knife, a gun, a metal object, a baseball bat, a beer bottle, a car, a piece of rock or a heavy object. Assault with a deadly weapon in California and Los Angeles Courts are sometimes brought even if no weapon is used and the only dealy force used is the use of one’s fist or arm which caused victim’s injuries.

Vehicular Assault 

If the weapon used to commit assault was a vehicle, the charge is referred to as vehicular assault. Just like other felony assault cases, this charge is still filed under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) which is a strike under California Law. If convicted of vehicular assault, one may face up to 4 years in prison.

An example of vehicular assault is when the defendant intentionally strikes someone with his vehicle with the intent to injure the victim. Also, a hit and run situation could turn into the crime of assault. For example, where a suspect is evading arrest and drives his vehicle into a crowd or a pedestrian or another vehicle at a high rate of speed and as a result injures the victim, the prosecution may file the case as assault with a deadly weapon under PC 245(a)(1) rather than hit and run which is normally filed under Vehicle Code 2800.2.

Felony Assault is a Strike under California Law

If charged as a felony, you should know that Penal Code 245(a)(1) is both a serious felony and a violent felony under California’s Three-Strikes law. That is important for the purpose of sentencing in the current offense and all future charges that may be brought against the defendant.

If convicted of Penal Code 245(a)(1) as a felony, the defendant may face up to 4 years in prison. However, an experienced defense attorney may be able to work out a plea bargain whereby the defendnat doesn’t get any jail time or receives some time in county jail. If sentenced to county jail, the defendnat has a much better chance of getting out early after serving a maximum of 50% of his sentence.

If the defendant is sentenced to state prison, the maximum conduct credit could be 15%. That is because PC 245(a)(1) is both a serious and a violent felony.

In Los Angeles Courts, you need a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in the specific area of ADW or assault with a deadly weapon. Tony M. Seyfi, an experienced criminal defene lawyer in Los Angeles will help you get the charged dropped or reduced.

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Criminal prosecution can affect your health, freedom, employment, and social life. You need help and you need the best criminal defense you can get. At the Law Offices of Tony M. Seyfi, with the state of the art computerized legal research tools and forensic techniques, we will focus on identifying the defenses you may have and will develop numerous challenges to any crime possible.

Our goal is victory for our clients and to keep them from going to jail, and we are confident of our defense strategies. If you would like to discuss your case, call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION and case analysis.

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