If you are wrongfully accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Riverside under Penal Code section 245(a), you’re probably wondering how to make these charges go away. The first thing you need to do is speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Understanding Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges (PC 245)
Assault with a deadly weapon is a “wobbler” offense, meaning the prosecutor can charge it as a felony or misdemeanor. Under Penal Code section 245(a), the punishment for a felony conviction can be a state prison sentence of up to four years and a fine up to $10,000. A felony conviction can also be a “strike” under California Three Strikes Law. A misdemeanor conviction can carry the same fine and a one year county jail term. If there was a gun involved, then the misdemeanor conviction has a minimum six months in jail.
To convict you of assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor has to prove the basic elements of assault and that you either used a deadly weapon or instrument, or used force likely to produce great bodily injury. While the charges might sound pretty clear-cut, they are broader than you might think.
First, under Penal Code section 240, assault is the unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury upon another with the apparent, present ability to do so. Because it is an attempt crime, the prosecutor must prove that you intended to commit an injury upon someone.
Let’s move to the “deadly weapon” element. In some cases, you might think that the charges are improper because you did not use a “weapon.” A deadly weapon or instrument can be the obvious things like guns and knives, but the prosecutor can actually point to any object other than your body and call it a “deadly weapon.” A “deadly weapon” could be a beer bottle, a baseball bat or even a pencil.
Maybe there was no weapon at all. That actually does not matter either. You can be charged under section 245(a) where you used force likely to produce great bodily injury even without a weapon. In past cases, great bodily injury has meant bruises, broken bones, and lost teeth; however, there is no standard on what injuries qualify as “great.” Rather, the prosecutor determines the charge based on the particular facts of your case.
How an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Attorney Can Help You
At Wallin & Klarich, we will use our 30 years of experience in the field to defend you. By arguing your case, we might be able to have your case dismissed, lessen the penalties, or have the charges reduced.
We have helped thousands of clients facing assault with a deadly weapon charges. When you call, we will first need to know everything about your background. Then, we will need to know exactly what happened and if there are any witnesses. Once we know the details of your case, we can begin to develop a strategy for your defense.
Self-defense is a viable defense against these charges, and if we can show the prosecutor that you reasonably acted out of a legitimate fear for your physical safety, then the charges against you could be dismissed.
Another defense we could use is that you did not have the actual ability to injure someone. For instance, if there was a gun involved and it was unloaded, we can argue that you should not be convicted because you were unable to actually injure someone.
If you did not intend the assault, this can also be a defense. Maybe you were in an intense argument and threw an object at a wall. When it crashed into the wall, it hurt the other person. In these cases, we can argue that an assault charges should be dropped because you did not intend to hurt anyone.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
The right attorney could mean the difference between a jail sentence and your freedom. That is why it is so important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately if you are being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending our clients facing assault charges for over 30 years. We can help you obtain a favorable result in your case.
You don’t have to deal with this alone. Call our offices today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.