How to Get Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges Dropped (PC 245(a)(1))
Assault with a deadly weapon is one of the most serious crimes in California. Under California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1), if you are convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon, you face up to 4 years in jail, $10,000 in fines, and a strike on your criminal record under California’s Three Strikes Law.
To be convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecution must prove:
- You committed an assault on another person;
- The assault was done willfully or with the intent to cause the person harm;
- You committed the assault while in the possession of either a deadly weapon or firearm; and
- The assault was done with force likely to produce serious bodily injury or death.
The punishment for assault with a deadly weapon is serious, so it is critical that you hire an experienced assault lawyer if you are facing assault with a deadly weapon charges. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 40 years of experience successfully defending clients against assault charges. Here are just a few of the valid legal arguments we have used to help our clients win their assault with a deadly weapon cases.
Self-defense is one of the most common defenses to assault with a deadly weapon charges. In assault cases, the defendant often states that he or she only committed the act to protect him or herself from an attacker. However, only a skilled criminal defense attorney will understand how to use self-defense as a valid legal defense. In order for self-defense to be an effective defense strategy in your case, your attorney must show that the force you used against the alleged victim was reasonable under the specific circumstances you faced. Usually, this means showing that you were in immediate danger of suffering bodily injury or death.
Your attorney may use different strategies to prove that you were falsely accused of assault with a deadly weapon based on the circumstances of your case. For instance, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to use text messages or your GPS history to show that you were not at the scene of the crime when the alleged assault took place.
Another valid legal defense to assault with a deadly weapon charges is if it was factually impossible for your act to meet all of the elements of the crime. Your attorney may be able to use factual impossibility as a defense if:
- You did not possess an object capable of being used as a deadly weapon
- You did not have the ability to inflict any type of injury, or
- You acted involuntarily or by accident
Attacking the Credibility of the Alleged Victim and Other Prosecution Witnesses
One of the most important elements of defense strategy in a PC 245 case is to attack the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution. This can be done by calling into question their ability to accurately recall the events that led to the criminal charges being filed. Your lawyer can attack the credibility of witnesses by challenging their memory of the events. In doing so, your lawyer can explore how well the witnesses recall the surrounding events. In addition, your attorney can challenge a witness’ level of sobriety and whether or not he or she may have used any legal or illegal drugs on the day of the alleged event.
An experienced assault with a deadly weapon attorney will also explore whether any witnesses were in a position where they could accurately witness what they claim they saw. This could include questioning the eyesight of the witness and whether the area was well-lit or relatively dark when the occurrence happened.
Contact the Assault Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, you should speak to a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our criminal lawyers have over 40 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing assault with a deadly weapon charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich assault attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.