Assault with a Deadly Weapon FAQs – California PC 245
Q1. What is considered a deadly weapon?
A: A deadly weapon is any object capable of inflicting serious harm to another person. Your typical deadly weapons include the usual assortment of guns, knives, and bombs. But even more common place objects such as a baseball bat, lamp, or even a pencil can qualify as a deadly weapon. Basically, any object used in a deadly manner can give rise to an assault with a deadly weapon charge.
Q2: Can I still be charged with assault with a deadly weapon even if I didn’t have a weapon?
A: Yes. You can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon even if you didn’t use a weapon during the offense so long as you had the opportunity to use force likely to produce great bodily injury. Punching or kicking someone in a vital area such as the head or neck can lead to an assault with a deadly weapon charge due to serious nature of the injury that could result.
Q3: What does “great bodily injury” mean?
A: Great bodily injury refers to a significant or substantial injury, but the injury does not need to be permanent. This is a question of fact determined by the jury on a case-by-case basis. Common injuries that qualify as great bodily injury include broken bones, chipped teeth, severe bruising or swelling, and cuts that require stitches.
Q4: Can a Penal Code Section 245 assault with a deadly weapon charge be reduced to a lesser crime?
A: Yes. With the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich, the aggravated assault charge can possibly be reduced to simple assault. This offense carries less jail time and smaller criminal fines. If the evidence presented to court is strongly in your favor, your attorney may even have the charge dismissed in its entirety.
Q5: Can I still be charged with assault with a deadly weapon if the gun wasn’t loaded?
A: Yes. Whether the gun can actually fire a bullet is irrelevant unless the victim knew that gun was incapable of firing. If you point an empty gun at someone you can still be charged with assault because it gives the appearance that it is capable of firing. However even if the victim knew that the gun was not loaded or incapable of firing, it can still be used as a club or weapon used to bludgeon another, thus giving rise to an assault charge. See People v. Miceli (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 256.
Q6:Can I still be charged with assault with a deadly weapon even if no one was actually hurt or injured?
A: Yes. The prosecution is not required to show that the alleged victim was hurt or injured in order for you to be charged and convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. It is not even necessary to prove that you touched the victim. All that is required is that you had the present ability to do so.
Q7: Is intoxication a valid defense to assault with a deadly weapon?
A: No. If you voluntarily drank alcohol and were intoxicated at the time of the offense, this is not a defense to an assault with a deadly weapons charge. However, your attorney can assert other defenses on your behalf that, if successful, could reduce the charge or have it dismissed in its entirety. (*Link to defenses page)
Q8: Who should I call if I am being charged with assault with a deadly weapon?
A: With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience in successfully representing Southern California residents that have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Drawing from extensive years of experience, we are available to answer any questions you have and are willing to go the extra mile in your defense.
If you are facing prosecution for assault with a deadly weapon, call our talented and professional defense attorneys today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL. We will be there when you call.