Penal Code 245(a)(4) covers a charge of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury in the state of California. Assault is the attempt to use force on someone else. Great bodily injury (GBI) is a category of injury. Not all assaults result in a GBI.
Learn about the legal defenses available to you to fight a PC 245(a)(4) charge by talking to our team here at the Simmrin Law Group. Call us today at (310) 997-4688.
Understanding Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury
Assault is a criminal act in California. There are actually several kinds of assault, including:
- Assault with caustic chemicals
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Assault with a firearm
PC 240 covers the basic charge for assault. According to PC 240, assault involves attempting to touch someone else in a harmful or offensive way. Assault does not necessarily involve causing harm to another person.
Assault charges apply if someone tries to use force on someone else voluntarily. PC 245(a)(4) charges only apply in specific cases involving assault. Prosecutors use this charge when someone attempts to cause a GBI.
Understanding Great Bodily Injuries in California
PC 245(a)(4) charges only apply if someone attempts to cause someone else a GBI. The court considers GBIs to be “significant” or “substantial” injuries. There is no set list of GBIs used in the state of California. However, examples of GBIs include:
- Broken bones
- Gunshot wounds
The determination of whether an assault could cause a GBI varies from case to case. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can provide you with more information about GBIs in California. Contact us at (310) 997-4688 to learn more.
Outcomes of a Conviction for a PC 245(a)(4) Conviction
Assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury is a serious charge. Individuals face misdemeanor or felony charges for a PC 245(a)(4) charge. The prosecution decides whether to charge an offense as a misdemeanor or not. They consider the following factors when making a decision:
- The facts of the crime
- An individual’s past criminal history
Both a misdemeanor or a felony conviction could lead to fines of up to $10,000. However, these charges can lead to different levels of incarceration. A misdemeanor conviction may result in jail time of up to one year. Individuals convicted of a felony could face up to four years in prison.
The prison system in California is generally considered harsher than the jail system. Prisons are often further away from an individual’s home. Additionally, a felony conviction means an individual is considered a felony by the state of California. Felons may face restrictions on:
- Where they live
- Where they work
- The ability to own or purchase firearms
Therefore, felony convictions are considered more serious than misdemeanor charges.
Defenses for Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Harm
A number of defenses may work to handle a PC 245(a)(4) charge. Depending on your situation, a criminal defense lawyer could argue that:
You Did Not Commit Assault
You should only face a PC 245(a)(1) conviction if an assault actually occurred. If you did not attempt to use force on another person, let your lawyer know.
You Did Not Take Action to Cause a GBI
PC 245(a)(1) charges only apply if someone attempts to cause another person a GBI. If you did not act in a way that would cause significant injury to another person, you could avoid a conviction. Discuss this option with your lawyer.
You Were Falsely Accused
In some cases, individuals make false claims regarding an assault. You could be accused of acting in an aggressive or dangerous way. A lawyer could work to gather evidence to disprove these false claims. Find out how by contacting us.
Speak to a Lawyer About PC 245(a)(4) Charges
Make sure to get help if you were charged under Penal Code 245(a)(4). Contact the Simmrin Law Group for legal assistance at (310) 997-4688. You can also complete our online contact form.
Get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now. Find out how we can help with a free consultation.