Assault with a deadly weapon or “ADW” occurs when someone attacks or attempts to attack another individual with a deadly weapon or by any means likely to cause great bodily injury. Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious charge. If convicted, you could face up to four years in prison, and if a firearm was used during the incident, the prison sentence could be up to 12 years. If you face ADW charges, it is crucial to speak with an Orange County assault with a deadly weapon lawyer as soon as possible. Our assault attorneys could aggressively fight these charges and preserve your freedom.
ADW charges constitute someone attacking another with a deadly weapon that may likely cause great bodily injury. To fully understand these charges, it is important to discuss the legal definitions of “deadly weapon” and “great bodily injury”. Under California law, a deadly weapon is considered an object or weapon capable of causing great bodily injury or death. There is a wide range of items deemed to be deadly weapons. Some examples include a gun, knife, bottle, baseball bat, hammer, vehicle, and even a dog.
The term “great bodily injury” can be interpreted in several different ways. However, under California law, it is considered any significant or substantial physical injury. Some examples include black eyes, lacerations, concussions, dog bites, broken bones, contusions, severe swelling, and gunshot wounds. An attorney in Orange County could further explain how these definitions may apply to a specific assault with a deadly weapon charge.
Under California Penal Code 245a1 PC, assault with a deadly weapon, also referred to as aggravated assault, can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the alleged incident. A misdemeanor conviction carries penalties of up to a year in jail, a fine of $1,000, and informal probation. Penalties for a felony conviction are more severe and include up to four years in prison, a fine of $10,000, and formal probation. An Orange County attorney could help someone minimize or avoid the penalties following an assault with a deadly weapon charge.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, assault with a deadly weapon could count as a strike under the Three Strikes Law. If the defendant did not use a deadly weapon but used force and the victim did not sustain great bodily injury, then it does not count as a strike. If the defendant did not use a deadly weapon but used force and the victim did sustain great bodily injury, then it does count as a strike. If the defendant used a deadly weapon, regardless of whether the victims sustained great bodily, it would count as a strike under the Three Strikes Law.
There are several defenses your lawyer in Orange County may use to defend you against an assault with deadly weapon charge. Perhaps the most common defense is self-defense or the defense of others. If you believed you or someone you love was in danger and you believed you had no choice but to use force to protect yourself or your loved one, a self-defense argument may prove successful. A false accusation and mistaken identity could also be effective defense arguments, as well as insufficient or untrustworthy evidence. Your attorney could determine what arguments would be both appropriate and persuasive by reviewing the police report and thoroughly investigating the alleged incident.
If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated assault, you deserve quality legal representation. Contact our Orange County assault with a deadly weapon attorney at the Law Offices of Scott Henry today for a free case analysis. Our criminal defense attorneys have over 40 years combined experience of skillfully defending assault-related cases and have a proven track record of success.