If you have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, you should know that you face much more substantial penalties than a normal assault charge. In Los Angeles, assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as a felony and is considered a serious, violent crime. Depending on your case, you could face 4 years in state prison or even longer. Do not risk facing this charge alone. You need to speak with a Los Angeles lawyer who understands assault with a deadly weapon.
Simmrin Law Group can help you. At Simmrin, we have only one mission: to defend those who are accused of criminal offenses and to help you move forward with your life. We do not believe that your life should be derailed because of a single mistake. Let us help you protect yourself from the excessive penalties that assault charges carry, and help you put the past behind you. Sit down with us for a FREE consultation. Simply 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 deadly weapon in Los Angeles?
California recognizes many different assault charges, each with its own penalties. Assault with a deadly weapon is described under California Penal Code 245(a)(1). The basic definition of this charge is:
- You willfully assaulted another person, knowing you could cause harm;
- You did so using a deadly weapon; and
- The weapon was not a firearm
Although this is the strict definition, there are two important things you should know about this charge:
- The legal definition of a “deadly weapon” is very flexible. You could be convicted even if the object you used is not normally considered a weapon.
- You can be convicted even if no one was hurt. For the purposes of this charge, even attempting to attack someone with a weapon, or trying to but missing, counts as an assault.
This means that even threatening someone with a weapon, or throwing an object at them that misses, can be construed as “assault” in some cases.
What counts as a deadly weapon?
You would be surprised at what law enforcement will describe as a deadly weapon. Besides knives and guns, any object that’s likely to cause harm (or likely to apply force to another person) can count. Some very real examples include:
- Driving at someone with your car
- Using a beer bottle
- A screwdriver, piece of broken glass, or any other sharp object
- Sicking your dog on someone
- Swinging an object at someone’s head, even a relatively light object
Even tiny objects like a pencil can count as a deadly weapon.
The reason the law makes this distinction is because, if a person grabs any object at all to hit someone else, they are doing it because they think it will do more damage than just using their hands. In theory, that means they want to cause more harm than they could do unarmed, which is a more serious crime.
What should I do if I’m charged with assault with a deadly weapon?
Whether it is you or someone you love who was arrested, the answer is the same: know your rights and be your own advocate. There are three things you can do to protect yourself during and after your arrest:
- Do not answer questions. The police will question you at length and may threaten you, intimidate you, or even promise to help you. Don’t believe anything. Their only objective is to get you to incriminate yourself. Remember that “anything you say can be used against you in a court of law” and say NOTHING. Only tell them that you want to speak to your lawyer, then stay quiet.
- Don’t lose hope. The police or prosecutor will often tell you that there is no way out of going to jail. Don’t believe this. We often see cases that fall apart as soon as the accused person has a competent lawyer. Remember that people can and do beat assault charges all the time.
- Don’t try to do it alone. You need a legal professional to help you if you want the best chance of winning your case. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
What are the penalties for assault with a deadly weapon in Los Angeles?
This offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The choice is up to the prosecutor, and is determined mainly by what kind of weapon you used and how serious the injuries were (if any). Here are the penalties for each version:
- Misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon: Up to 1 year in county jail
- Felony assault with a deadly weapon: 2, 3 or 4 years in state prison
Bear in mind that the penalties can be more severe if the person who was assaulted was a police officer or if you used a gun.
No one wants to face these kinds of penalties, and you do not have to if you are not convicted. A criminal defense lawyer can help you. The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the more you help your case.
Talk to a Los Angeles Assault with a Deadly Weapon Attorney for Free
Don’t risk facing years in jail or prison. Get the legal help you need and let a professional defend your case. The Simmrin Law Group always takes the side of the accused and we treat every client as if it’s our own family member facing the law.
Let us give you a free, no-obligation consultation and advise you on your case. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.