Being charged with aggravated assault (also known as assault with a deadly weapon), is a serious criminal charge. Since assault with a deadly weapon can be a “strike” crime, even a first conviction for this offense can result in severe penalties and increased mandatory imprisonment in the future. As a result, you will need a California defense attorney who will fight for your rights – and your future.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
According to California law, assault with a deadly weapon is generally defined as assault using a weapon or enough force likely to cause great bodily injury to another person. What makes this charge so dangerous is that prosecutors only need to show that your actions were likely to cause harm to another person – even if you did not actually harm that person or use a “traditional” weapon. Hands and feet are not a “deadly weapon.” But, innocuous items like a shower curtain rod can be. If a reasonable person would believe that your actions would directly and probably cause extreme harm to another person, then you may be found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon.
Common Deadly Weapons
In the State of California, a deadly weapon is defined as any object or weapon that is inherently deadly or dangerous or one that is used in such a way that it is capable of causing and likely to cause death or great bodily injury. Examples of deadly weapons include (but are not limited to):
- Semiautomatic Firearm
- Machine Gun
- A .50 BMG Rifle
- A Stun Gun or Taser
- Box Cutters
- Tire Iron
- Flame throwers
- and More.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Penalties
If you are found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, you may be charged with a felony and as a result, can spend years in prison. In addition, you will carry a “strike” on your record which may cause greater penalties and prison time later on in life. While every assault with a deadly weapon case is different, the penalties are often strict and severe – even for first time offenders.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Against Civilians
- Assault with a deadly weapon or firearm: 2, 3 or 4 years imprisonment in the state prison ( for a felony) or in a county jail 6 – 12 months and a fine less than $10,000 ( for a misdemeanor)
- Assault with a machine gun or assault rifle: 4, 8 or 12 years imprisonment in the state prison
- Assault with a semiautomatic firearm: 3, 6 or 9 years imprisonment in the state prison
Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Against Peace Officers or Firefighters
- Assault with a deadly weapon: 3, 4 or 5 years imprisonment in the state prison
- Assault with a firearm: 4, 6 or 8 years imprisonment in the state prison
- Assault using a semiautomatic weapon: 5, 7 or 9 years imprisonment in the state prison
- Assault using a machine gun or assault rifle: 6, 9 or 12 years imprisonment in the state prison
Winning the Assault with a Deadly Weapon Conviction
An assault with a deadly weapon charge is a serious offense. Even if you did not actually harm another person, you may still be found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors are not required to prove that you touched or harmed another person – merely that your actions were likely to cause harm. As a result, you will need an experienced and aggressive California defense attorney on your side. Your defense attorney will need to review all aspects of your case to determine the best way to protect your rights in court. If self-defense was a motive for your actions, the attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram may be able to have the assault with a deadly weapon charges dropped altogether.
If you are arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law may be able to negotiate reduced charges, limited or no jail time, or a dismissal of the charges on your behalf. Since a felony conviction can lead to years of aggravation and lost opportunities, we fight aggressively for you, even if it means going to trial to protect your rights and your life.