Individuals may be charged with basic assault in California if they attempt to harm another person. This criminal charge can lead to penalties like jail time and fines. The penalties for an assault charge can be increased if individuals use a weapon to commit assault.
Cases of assault involving guns can be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 245(a)(2): Assault with a Firearm. This criminal charge enhances the repercussions an individual would face for a basic assault charge. Note that individuals can also face increased charges if they are accused of California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1): Assault With A Deadly Weapon.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you focus on the exact definition of PC 245(a)(2) as well as defenses for this serious criminal charge.
Get the Definition of PC 245(a)(2)
California Penal Code Section 245(a)(2): Assault with a Firearm is used to prosecute individuals who intentionally used a gun to attempt to hurt another person. Note that no one actually has to be injured for an assault conviction. In fact, individuals can be charged with assault with a firearm even if they do not fire a gun.
The state of California defines firearms very broadly. Individuals can face charges for PC 245(a)(2) if they assaulted another person using a:
- And More…
The broad definition of this crime can make it difficult to beat an assault with a firearm charge alone. Individuals charged under PC 245(a)(2) can increase their odds for beating a charge by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles today.
Examples of Assault with a Firearm Charges
Individuals could be charged under PC 245(a)(2) in the following cases:
A married couple gets into an argument. The husband, furious, goes to get his handgun and threatens his wife with it. She panics, and he shoots the wall as she runs out of the house. He could be charged with assault with a firearm, even though she was not harmed.
A man decides to rob a liquor store. He takes a shotgun and goes to carry out the robbery. He does not shoot anyone, but he does hit one of the employees with the butt of his shotgun. He could face charges under PC 245(a)(2).
Common Penalties for a PC 245(a)(2) Conviction
A conviction for assault with a firearm can have harsh consequences. The exact penalties can vary based on the:
- Kind of Firearm Used
- The Status of the Victim
Penalties for Using a Non-Automatic or Non-Semiautomatic Firearm
The court may charge PC 245(a)(2) as a misdemeanor or a felony if individuals do not use a semiautomatic or automatic firearm. Individuals convicted for a misdemeanor may face 1 year in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
Penalties for Using an Automatic or Semiautomatic Firearm
Individuals are almost always charged with a felony for the use of an automatic or semiautomatic firearm. A felony conviction can lead to:
- Semiautomatic Firearm: 9 Years in Prison
- Automatic Firearm: 12 Years in Prison
Penalties for Assaulting a Peace Officer
The court system in Los Angeles will increase penalties for PC 245(a)(2) if they person injured is a police officer or a firefighter who is performing their duties. Individuals can be sentenced to 8 years in prison for assault on a peace officer with a firearm.
Defenses for Assault with a Firearm Charges
Many people are intimidated by charges for assault with a firearm. Fortunately, there are some legal defenses that can be effectively used to beat a PC 245(a)(2) charge. A criminal defense lawyer could be able to build a case by showing:
You Were Acting in Self-Defense
Individuals in California have the right to defend themselves and other people. Individuals may be able use a firearm to protect themselves if they are attacked or threatened by another person.
You Were Not Intentionally Threatening Someone
Many people are frightened by even the sight of a fun. However, it is not a crime to simply draw a gun. You must intentionally try to harm someone with a firearm to be convicted under PC 245(a)(2).
You Were Holding a Gun That was not Loaded
Some people use unloaded weapons to threaten others, since most people cannot tell if a gun is loaded or not just by looking at it. Individuals who do this should not face PC 245(a)(2) charges. They will face different charges, instead.
Note that individuals can be charged with assault with a firearm – even if it is unloaded – if they physically strike someone with the gun.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Handle PC 245(a)(2) Charges
Trying to beat charges under California Penal Code Section 245(a)(2): Assault with a Firearm alone can end in disaster. Make sure that you are ready for any courtroom battle by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. You can reach our professional criminal defense lawyers by calling (310) 896-2723 or filling out our online contact form.
Our professional legal team can offer you a FREE case evaluation if you have been charged with assault with a firearm.