May 14, 2014
Assault with a deadly weapon is a complicated crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. It is possible to face charges of assault with a deadly weapon even if the victim is not harmed and even when hands and feet are the only “weapons” involved.
Anyone facing charges under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) would be well advised to learn about what the charges mean and what type of penalties could result from a conviction.
First, it must be determined if the defendant will face misdemeanor or felony charges. There are many reasons why Ventura prosecutors may choose to pursue felony charges in such cases including the following:
- The alleged victim was injured as a result of the assault
- The defendant brandished or used a weapon capable of causing great bodily injury
- The defendant assaulted peace officers such as police officers or firefighters
- The victim believed you intended to cause him or her great injury
- You elicited fear by brandishing or using a weapon
In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution will have to prove that the defendant assaulted someone and that the assault was committed with a deadly weapon or other means of force that could have caused great bodily injury. The prosecution does not, however, have to prove that anyone was actually injured. They only have to show that you had the ability and intent to severely injure someone.
Since assault with a deadly weapon is a wobbler, there is a wide range of penalties that can result from a conviction. Misdemeanor penalties for assault with a deadly weapon include informal probation, one year in county jail, a $10,000 fine, restitution to the victim, community service, and anger management classes. Felony assault with a deadly weapon is punishable by two to four years in state prison, a $10,000 fine, weapon confiscation, restitution to the victim, and a possible strike on the record under California's three-strikes law.
You do not have to accept a plea deal or plead guilty to assault charges in Ventura. There are a number of potential defenses that you should consider before making any decisions that could have long-term consequences. An experienced Ventura criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that your side is presented in court.