Assault with a deadly weapon typically involves a physical attack against another with an object capable of causing serious bodily harm or death.
What is an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge?
Under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) P.C., you can be prosecuted for the unlawful use of any deadly weapon, even if you did not actually injure the alleged victim. In general, any weapon, object or instrument that is capable of inflicting serious injury will be considered a deadly weapon, including firearms, baseball bats, beer bottles, brass knuckles, attack dogs, machetes, and automobiles.
So long as you harbored the general intent to carry out the act that could have injured, or did in fact injure the alleged victim, you can be convicted for Assault with a Deadly Weapon ("ADW"). For example, you could be charged with ADW if you angrily drove your car towards someone with the intent only to frighten and not injure him/her, regardless of whether or not you actually struck him/her. To secure a conviction, the prosecutor only needs to prove that you were aware that your act could have resulted in injury to the alleged victim.
Typically, the prosecutor will charge this crime as a felony, but he or she has the discretion to charge it as a misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case and your criminal record.
(This is known as a "wobbler" offense.)
What are Examples of Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
Examples of ADW situations include the following:
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove for an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge?
To prove that you are guilty of ADW under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) P.C., the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following elements (as required by the Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions CALCRIM 875):
What Happens If I am Convicted of an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge?
If you are convicted of ADW under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) P.C., you face the following punishment (excluding any sentencing enhancements):
What are My Possible Defenses to an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge?
Assault with a Deadly Weapon cases can often be resolved during the investigation stage even before criminal charges are actually filed. Specifically, a highly experienced and skilled Los Angeles County Assault with a Deadly Weapon attorney like Ninaz Saffari might be able to convince the investigating detective to not refer the case to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution, or to convince the D.A.'s Office not to file charges if the case has already been referred. These are called Pre-Files, which Ms. Saffari has a great deal of experience in successfully negotiating. See her Case Results.
If you are charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Ms. Saffari will first conduct a thorough investigation, often with the help of her private investigator, to ascertain all relevant facts. Again, if possible, she will attempt to get the charges dismissed either before or shortly after they are filed. If she takes the case to trial, she will often use an expert witness who will argue that the alleged harm never occurred, did not occur to the degree claimed, occurred but was the result of an accident or unintentional conduct, or that the District Attorney has otherwise failed to provide enough evidence to meet the high threshold to prove Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
The following are the possible defenses to an ADW charge:
What Kind of Assault with a Deadly Weapon Cases Has Ninaz Saffari Defended?
Since 2005, Ninaz Saffari has successfully represented hundreds of clients (adults and juveniles) against ADW charges, including both as felonies and misdemeanors. Some of her clients were facing decades in prison, as well as strike offenses. See her Case Results.--
If you or a loved one are currently being investigated or prosecuted for this crime, it is critical that you immediately hire a highly skilled, aggressive and experienced Los Angeles County Assault with a Deadly Weapon criminal defense attorney like Ninaz Saffari. Contact the Saffari Law Firm, P.C. now for a free telephone consultation. If Ms. Saffari believes she can help you, she will immediately schedule a free in-person meeting or, if you are in custody, she will visit you in jail (again, for free and with no obligation to hire her).
Representing All Of Los Angeles County including:
Downtown Criminal Courts Building
Van Nuys Courthouse
San Fernando Courthouse
Long Beach Courthouse