Assault With A Deadly Weapon Defense At The Law Offices Of  Arash Hashemi

Facing charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon can have serious consequences. Under California Penal Code 245, this offense is considered a “wobbler,” allowing prosecutors to file it as either a felony or misdemeanor charge. If convicted, you risk losing your right to vote and own a firearm, facing years in state prison, and hefty fines. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi. With over 20+ years of experience, Attorney Arash Hashemi has defended individuals facing charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon with successful outcomes based on arguments of self-defense. We understand the lasting impact a conviction can have on your reputation and quality of life. Contact our office at (310) 448-1529 to schedule a consultation.

Definition of ADW

California Penal Code [CPC] §245(a)(1) defines Assault With A Deadly Weapon as an assault committed against another person using either a deadly weapon (other than a firearm) or force likely to cause great bodily injury.

Penalties for Violating CPC §245(a)(1):

  • “Wobbler” Offense: This statute is classified as a “wobbler,” meaning the prosecution has the discretion to charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the case specifics.
  • Misdemeanor Penalties: If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties include up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
  • Felony Penalties: A felony charge under this section can lead to a prison term of up to four years and a fine of up to $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine.





    Elements of the Crime

    To secure a conviction under PC 245, the Los Angeles County prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

    1. Act of Assault: You committed an act that would likely result in the application of force to another person.
    2. Use of a Deadly Weapon: Your act involved a deadly weapon, or was likely to produce great bodily injury.
    3. Willful and Purposeful Action: The act was done willfully and with purpose.
    4. Awareness of the Act’s Impact: You were aware that your actions would lead a reasonable person to expect the application of force.
    5. Ability to Apply Force: You had the ability to apply force likely to cause great bodily injury with a deadly weapon.
    6. Absence of Self-Defense: The act was not in self-defense or defense of another person.

    What is a Deadly Weapon?

    In the context of California Penal Code §245(a)(1), a deadly weapon is defined as any object, instrument, or weapon used in a way that is capable of causing, or likely to cause, great bodily injury or death. While the range of objects that can be considered deadly weapons is broad, here are eight common examples:

    1. Knives: Including kitchen knives, switchblades, or any sharp-edged instruments.
    2. Firearms: Whether loaded or unloaded, if used to threaten or harm.
    3. Baseball Bats: Commonly used in physical assaults, capable of inflicting serious injury.
    4. Brass Knuckles: Designed to augment the impact of a punch, leading to severe injury.
    5. Vehicles: When used to hit or attempt to hit a person.
    6. Bottles or Glass: Broken or intact, used as stabbing or striking weapons.
    7. Clubs or Sticks: Including any heavy or blunt object used to strike.
    8. Tools: Such as hammers or screwdrivers, when used in a threatening or harmful manner.

    Penalties for Penal Code 245(a)(1)

    Under California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1), assault with a deadly weapon is classified as a “wobbler.” This designation allows the Los Angeles County prosecutor the discretion to file the case as either a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the specifics of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. Factors influencing this decision typically include the type of weapon used and the severity of injuries inflicted on the victim.

    Penalties for Misdemeanor Conviction:

    • Imprisonment for up to one year in county jail.
    • A fine of up to $1,000.
    • Misdemeanor summary probation.

    Penalties for Felony Conviction:

    • Imprisonment for 2, 3, or 4 years in California state prison.
    • A fine of up to $10,000.
    • Formal felony probation.

    Legal Defenses for ADW Charges

    1. Self-Defense or Defense of Others: If you reasonably believed that you or someone else was in imminent danger of being harmed, and you used only as much force as was necessary to defend against that danger, this defense can be applied.
    2. Lack of Intent: Since ADW requires a willful act, demonstrating that the act was accidental or without the intention to harm can be a valid defense.
    3. False Accusation: Unfortunately, false accusations do occur. Proving that the accusation was false or motivated by factors such as revenge can negate the charges.
    4. Insufficient Evidence: The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed ADW. Highlighting the lack of concrete evidence can be a strong defense.
    5. Mistaken Identity: In cases where the perpetrator was not clearly identified, proving that you were not the individual who committed the assault can lead to charges being dropped.





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