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 convicted. 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, however, it is very difficult to do so on your own.
Speak with a Los Angeles assault with a firearm lawyer to learn more. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at the Simmrin Law Group, we aim to help you through this difficult period so you can put your life back together and move forward. Contact us for a free consultation by filling out the form to the right or giving us a call today.
What Counts as an Assault with a Firearm in Los Angeles?
Assault with a firearm is prosecuted under California Penal Code §245(a)(2). This statute covers any assault that involves a gun, no matter whether the weapon in question is a handgun, hunting rifle, automatic weapon, or any other kind of gun. In Los Angeles, “assault” means any attempt to violently injure another person.
This 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 alleged offender was in the middle of committing a less serious crime and had the gun on them for protection. Then, when something went wrong, they drew 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.
For a free legal consultation with a aggravated assault with a firearm defense lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 896-2723
What Defenses Can You Use Against an Assault with a Firearm Charge?
Several possible defenses can be used against an aggravated assault with a firearm charge. Your lawyer will discuss the specifics of your case with you and what the best approach is for your situation. Some of the most common defenses used in these cases are:
- False accusation
- Unloaded gun
- Self-defense or defense of others
- No intent to attack
In most assault cases, there needs to be some evidence of the assault. An accusation from the alleged victim is not enough to convict. 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.
False accusations can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes an accuser may have a vendetta against the accused, while other times it is a simple case of mistaken identity. The accused may look similar to the true attacker or may have simply been present at the time of the assault, and the victim got confused.
An unloaded gun is not able to shoot someone and cannot generally be used in an assault. The exception is if you struck the person with the weapon or attempted to do so. This action would still count as assault whether the gun was loaded or not.
If you used the unloaded gun to rob or coerce someone who believed the weapon to be loaded, you may face other charges but not assault.
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 complex legal defense. Your Los Angeles firearm defense attorney can help you understand the specifics of this defense and whether your case qualifies.
No Intent to Attack
Sometimes, just seeing a gun makes other people feel nervous. But that does not constitute 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. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a violent crimes lawyer in Los Angeles, CA. We will review your case and advise you of the defense strategies that would be best for you.
Los Angeles Aggravated Assault With a Firearm Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
What Are Your Chances of Beating an Aggravated Assault with a Firearm Charge?
They’re probably better than you think. No lawyer can promise that someone will win their case. However, what we can tell you is that prosecutors often pursue assault charges even when the evidence is weak. 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 any questions from the police without first speaking with your attorney.
- Don’t give up – there is hope even in the toughest cases.
- Get a competent Los Angeles attorney on your side.
What Are the Penalties for Assault with a Firearm in Los Angeles?
Assault with a firearm is a “wobbler” if the gun used is considered a “generic” firearm, which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. However, if you used an automatic or semiautomatic assault weapon, the charge is no longer a wobbler. In these cases, you will always be charged with a felony.
The penalties will depend upon how the assault is charged.
Misdemeanor assault with a generic firearm will not result in charges as harsh as those for a felony charge, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they are mild. If convicted of a misdemeanor charge, you could face:
- Up to six months in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Summary probation
A felony charge for assault with a generic firearm will bring much tougher consequences. A conviction on a felony charge can result in:
- Up to four years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Formal probation
More Dangerous Firearms
If the weapon in question was a semi-automatic weapon, machine gun, an assault weapon, or a .50 BMG rifle, your prison term can increase sharply. A conviction in these cases can result in up to 12 years in prison.
It’s important to remember that you will only face these penalties if you are convicted. Don’t face your assault charge alone. Speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles who understands firearm charges.
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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 they are a member of our own family taking the stand.
Fill out our online contact form or give us a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. A member of our legal team will review your case and advise you of all your legal options. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin building your case.