If you have been charged with an assault with a deadly weapon charge in Orange County, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Not only are you at risk of spending a significant period of time behind bars, but you also face possible fines and fees high enough to put you in dire straits when it comes to your finances. In short, your future in on the line.
Thankfully, help is available. The esteemed violent crime defense lawyers at the Law Offices of David A. Stein are ready to fight for you in and out of the courtroom. Facing a criminal charge may make for one of the most difficult periods in your life, but we will give you the emotional and legal support you need to make it through with your professional and personal life intact. For a free case evaluation, please call us today at (949) 445-0040.
What Constitutes Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
According to California Penal Code 245, assault with a deadly weapon is when “any person commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument.” Actual physical harm does not have to be involved in order for this charge to be brought forward; the threat of harm alone is enough.
If the prosecution pursues this criminal charge against you, they establish certain key “elements” in order to prove your guilt. These elements are as follows:
- You acted in a way that would probably result directly in the application of force to someone else;
- You acted with a deadly weapon, or in a matter that was likely to result in “great bodily injury”;
- You acted willfully;
- You were aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the act would directly and probably result in harm to the alleged victim; and
- You had the ability to produce great bodily injury.
What Are the Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in California?
Assault with a deadly weapon is a “wobbler”, meaning it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident and the defendant’s criminal record.
A misdemeanor conviction can result in summary probation, a jail sentence of up to a year and a fine of up to $1,000.
A felony conviction, on the other hand, can result in formal probation, a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of up to $10,000. If aggravating circumstances, such as the use of a firearm or an attack on a law enforcement officer or firefighter, are present, then the penalties may be significantly enhanced.
Legal Defenses Against Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Certainly, the penalties for this offense can be quite severe. However, a resourceful criminal defense attorney may be able to fight your charges by exploiting weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to support the following potential defenses:
- A deadly weapon or force was not involved;
- You acted in self-defense or were defending another;
- You did not act with intent; and/or
- You were wrongfully accused.
Call (949) 445-0040 Today
If you’re looking for a law firm with plenty of experience and the case results to back it up, look no further. Attorney David A. Stein and his associates have helped countless clients in Orange County get their charges dismissed or attain a favorable verdict. To speak with one of our dedicated legal staff about your case, contact the Law Offices of David A. Stein today.