Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious criminal offense. In California, assault with a deadly weapon is normally classified as a felony and carries a prison sentence. If you are charged with this crime, it is imperative that you seek the services of a San Diego assault and domestic violence lawyer. For years, McElfresh Law has been providing high-quality legal representation for individuals charged with assault crimes.
What is Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
The California Penal Code defines assault with a deadly weapon as an assault committed with a deadly weapon or by way of force that is likely to cause bodily injury. To better understand the offense, you must also know that an assault is the attempt to carry out a violent act against another individual when the ability to do so is present.
The deadly weapon component of the crime can sometimes confuse many individuals charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Someone will readily identify a deadly weapon as a knife or gun. However, there are a number of items not normally used in violent situations that can be classified as a deadly weapon. So for example, a baseball bat, a kitchen spoon, or even a shoe can be considered a deadly weapon, since when it is used with the right force has the potential of causing death.
Penalties for a California Assault with a Deadly Weapon Conviction
The criminal offense of assault with a deadly weapon is often charged as a felony, but can be charged as a misdemeanor. A prosecutor will make that determination based on:
- The type of weapon used in the crime
- The extent of the victim’s injuries
- Whether the victim was an officer or any other protected category of person
As a misdemeanor, a charge for assault with a deadly weapon can carry up to a 1-year jail sentence and as a felony, as much as 6 years in a state prison. Your sentence upon conviction may be enhanced if the weapon used was a firearm or if the victim falls into the category of a protected person. Assault with a deadly weapon may also carry the penalty of a fine.
After Your Arrest for Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Not everyone charged with a crime is guilty. Your actions and, in particular, what you say at the time of arrest, can significantly affect your case if it goes to trial. If you are being charged, your Miranda rights will be read to you. However, even before that, you must be careful with what you say to the police. The best advice when you are charged or you think you might be charged is to:
- Say nothing– If you must offer any comment, only do so if what you plan on saying is that you were acting in self-defense or “I didn’t do it.” Remember that a police officer is not a judge or jury and cannot determine your guilt or innocence. His role is to determine whether, on the face of the information in front of him, a crime has been committed. So let the police do their job and remain silent.
- Stay calm – Innocent people get themselves in more trouble at the time of being charged because they do not stay calm. If you are being charged with assault with a deadly weapon, cooperate with the police and do not try to resist arrest or verbally abuse the officers. This type of behavior can lead to more charges that can be damaging to your bail application and your case going forward.
- Call a lawyer – As soon as possible get in touch with a lawyer or have a close relative or friend retain the services of an experienced San Diego assault and domestic violence lawyer.
No one wants to be charged with a criminal offense. However, the key to beating the charges and securing your freedom lies in the hiring of the a qualified and skilled lawyer.
You Need an Experienced San Diego Assault Lawyer
A simple verbal argument can quickly escalate into a situation leading to assault with a deadly weapon charges. If you find yourself facing this offense, you will need a lawyer that will prepare a strong defense to fight your charge. The law presumes that you are innocent until proven otherwise, and there are a number of legal defenses available to you:
- You have been wrongfully charged
- You were acting in self-defense
- You were not in possession of a deadly weapon or did not use force as defined by the California law
- You did not possess the required legal intent
At McElfresh Law, we are experienced in providing high-quality criminal defense representation in San Diego, California. Our job is to get your charges dismissed or reduced. We will fight to get the best possible resolution to your case so that you can move on with your life.