Assault with a firearm is considered a serious crime in Los Angeles and you can face years of prison as well as a “strike” on your record. If you or someone in your family has been charged with this offense, you need to protect yourself legally. It is possible to beat a firearm assault charge, and in some cases to avoid penalties altogether—but you need to speak to a Los Angeles assault with a firearm lawyer.
That’s why the Simmrin Law Group was founded. We believe in helping those who have been charged with a crime, and in helping you put your life together so you can move forward. We have seen how even one assault conviction can be a life-altering event that affects your career, family and future. Let us help you protect yourself by giving you the strongest defense possible. No case is too tough.
Contact us for a FREE consultation to help you understand your case. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation immediately.
What counts as assault with a firearm in Los Angeles?
Assault with a firearm is a type of assault charge, used in any assault that involved a gun—whether it was a handgun, hunting rifle, automatic weapon or any other kind of firearm. In Los Angeles, “assault” means any attempt to violently injure another person. That means you can be charged with assault with a firearm even if no one was hurt.
Examples of assault with a firearm include:
- Shooting someone
- Attempting to shoot them but missing
- Pointing a gun at them with the intent to shoot
- Hitting someone with a gun (“pistol whipping”)
Often, we see cases where a person drew a gun in anger but never meant to fire it. In other cases the person is in the middle of committing a less serious crime and has the gun on them for protection. When something goes wrong, they draw it out of desperation. There are many types of firearm assault cases, but just because you were charged does not mean you will be convicted.
What defenses can I use against an assault with a firearm charge?
- False accusation. In most assault cases there needs to be some evidence of the assault—something more than just the victim claiming you attacked them. If there are no witnesses and you have not confessed to assaulting the person, the case against you is very weak and can probably be fought.
- Gun wasn’t loaded. An unloaded gun is not able to shoot someone, and cannot assault someone (in most cases). If you used the unloaded gun to rob or coerce someone you may face other charges, but not assault. The exception is if you struck the person with the gun or attempted to do so—this would still count as assault whether it is loaded or not.
- Self-defense or defense of others. Many supposed “assault” cases involve an altercation between two or more individuals. If you were being threatened or attacked, or had reason to believe you were, you have the right to defend yourself even with a firearm. The same can apply if you were defending someone else. Self-defense is a very complicated legal defense and we can help you understand whether your case qualifies.
- No intent to attack. Sometimes, just seeing a gun makes other people feel nervous. But that isn’t assault. If you only pointed the gun at a person by accident, even while arguing, you may be able to win your assault case.
These are not the only ways to defend against a firearm assault charge, only the most common. We can help build a defense that fits your specific case.
What are my chances of winning my case?
They’re probably better than you think. No lawyer can promise that someone will win their case, but what we can tell you is that prosecutors often pursue assault charges even when their evidence is weak. And, even in a case where the evidence against you is strong, it doesn’t mean that there is no way out. If your rights were violated, or if there is a legal issue with the prosecutor’s case, you could still win. Or you could get a “deal” for a much less serious charge. That might mean no prison time at all.
The three things you or your loved one should do when facing a firearm assault charge are:
- Do not answer questions from the police, even innocent questions. Tell them you want your lawyer.
- Don’t give up. There is hope even in the toughest cases.
- Get a competent criminal defense lawyer on your side.
What are the penalties for assault with a firearm in Los Angeles?
It depends on whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you used an automatic or semiautomatic assault weapon it will be a felony; most other cases will be misdemeanors. The penalties are:
- Felony: 2-4 years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Prison time can go up to 9 or even 12 years if you used various assault weapons.
- Misdemeanor: Up to 6 months in county jail and a fine up of to $1,000.
You only face these penalties if you are convicted. Don’t face your assault charge alone. Speak to a good criminal defense lawyer who understands firearm charges.
Talk to a Los Angeles Assault with a Firearm Attorney for Free
Don’t take chances with your future—get the legal help you need. The Simmrin Law Group is dedicated to defending cases like yours. We treat every client like it’s our own family member taking the stand.
Let us offer you a free consultation and help you prepare for your case. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.