What Is “Assault With A Deadly Weapon”?

Assault With A Deadly Weapon“Assault with a deadly weapon” (ADW) occurs when you attempt to injure someone with a “deadly weapon” or force capable of causing great bodily harm. When used in a certain way, any object with the potential to cause severe injury or death is a “deadly weapon” according to California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1). 

Many people are shocked to discover that the law classifies seemingly harmless objects as deadly weapons, like bottles, pencils, rocks, and boots. For example, a boot used for foot protection is harmless. However, it can become deadly if you attempt to kick someone’s head. In this case, the court could consider it a deadly weapon.  

Your case may boil down to the accuser’s word against yours without much other evidence. Even if you never caused any actual injuries, the prosecution could convict you of ADW, resulting in time behind bars and so much more. That’s why you need to contact our lawyers at Wallin & Klarich immediately. We can help you fight aggravated assault charges. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

Prosecution of ADW | PC 245 

For a conviction under PC 245, the prosecution must prove:

  • You attempted to injure someone. 
  • You used a deadly weapon or force capable of producing significant bodily injury.
  • Your attempt was on purpose. 
  • You were able to use the deadly weapon or apply force that could cause serious bodily injury.
  • You had no reasonable cause for self-defense or defense of others. 

Aggravated Assault Charges | PC 245

Our experienced defense lawyers at Wallin and Klarich have successfully defended clients charged with a variety of aggravated assault crimes in West Covina, including:

  • Assault With a Deadly Weapon
  • Assault With a Firearm
  • Assault With an Assault Weapon
  • Assault with Force Likely To Cause Great Bodily Injury 
  • Assault with a Semi-Automatic Firearm 

Assault With A Deadly Weapon Penalties | What You’re Facing

ADW can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. However, the prosecution automatically files felony charges if you admit to using a deadly weapon. Other factors influence the prosecution’s decision to file felony charges, including:

  • Criminal record
  • The severity of the accusations
  • Type of weapon involved
  • The victim’s injuries

It’s essential to remain silent and contact our office as soon as possible after your arrest. We can provide expert legal advice to help you avoid incriminating yourself. When you consult with our knowledgeable attorneys, we’ll fight to get the charges dropped before trial, or at worst, prepare the strongest case if we do go to trial. Contact Wallin & Klarich for your free consultation. We’ve outlined the penalties for ADW below: 

Assault With A Deadly Weapon | PC 245(A)(1)

  • Strike (felony) – California’s Three Strikes Law 
  • Prison sentence of two, three, or four years (Felony)
  • One-year jail sentence (Misdemeanor) 
  • Maximum fine of $10,000
  • Both imprisonment and fine
  • Restitution to the victim

Assault With A Firearm | PC 245(A)(2)

  • Strike (Felony) 
  • Prison sentence of two, three, or four years (Felony)
  • One-year jail sentence (Misdemeanor) 
  • Maximum fine of $10,000
  • Imprisonment and fine

Assault With An Assault Weapon | PC 245(A)(3)

  • Strike (Felony) 
  • Prison sentence of four, eight, or twelve years (Felony)

Assault With Force Likely To Cause Great Bodily Injury | PC 245(A)(4)

  • Strike (Felony) 
  • Prison sentence of two, three, or four years (Felony)
  • One-year jail sentence (Misdemeanor)
  • Maximum fine of $10,000
  • Imprisonment and fine

Assault With A Semi-Automatic Firearm | PC 245(B)

  • Strike (Felony) 
  • Prison sentence of three, six, or nine years (Felony) 

Professional and Personal Consequences 

If convicted of aggravated assault, you may lose your home, car, job, and everything else you’ve worked hard to earn. Plus, even after being released, time behind bars can steal your peace of mind. That’s not to mention the long-term consequences of a violent conviction on your criminal record. So many aspects of your life may become a struggle, such as finding a decent job or suitable housing. 

Hiring a skilled defense lawyer is crucial if you hope to defeat aggravated assault charges. Wallin & Klarich has over 40 years of experience helping clients get aggravated assault charges dropped in West Covina. Hiring one of our skilled criminal defense lawyers gives you access to the legal advice and defense strategies you need for success. One phone call could mean the difference between prison time and freedom! Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation.

How We Can Help You| Possible Defenses

At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys know a strong defense calls for multiple strategies. Therefore, we don’t place our bets one shot. Instead, we take a multifaceted approach, exploring every available route to prove your innocence. Our defense team begins with a close examination of your case. We look for holes in the prosecution’s claims and strengths in your story, which allows us to build a more persuasive defense. With 40+ years of experience, we’ve presented many effective defense strategies for a wide variety of aggravated assault crimes. Below, we’ve summarized some of the top defenses for assault with a deadly weapon in West Covina. 


California law allows individuals to defend themselves and others from immediate harm. We’ve used self-defense to get charges dropped in the past, and we may be able to use this defense on your behalf if you were defending yourself.  However, we must show that you had a reasonable fear of harm and used reasonable force. We can present evidence that the alleged victim attacked first, such as witness accounts, and we’ll also try to show discrepancies in your accuser’s story during cross-examination. If you’re facing prison time for self-defense, contact Wallin & Klarich today!

Lack Of Intent

The prosecution must prove you intended to cause severe injury for an ADW conviction. We’ve argued lack of intent in cases involving a misunderstanding or accident. For example, you are arguing with your brother while chopping up vegetables. He calls the police and says you threatened him with a knife. We could argue that you had no intention to hurt or threaten him. Furthermore, you had a legitimate reason for holding the knife because you were cooking. 

Mistaken Identity

Some people believe they don’t need a lawyer because they’re innocent. However, without a solid legal defense, your chances of conviction significantly increase. Unfortunately, many wrongful convictions occur in the U.S. due to mistaken identity.

For example, after the assault, witnesses claim they saw the attacker get into a silver car. Although it was dark, the alleged victim believes you are the attacker due to an ongoing feud. You have a criminal history, drive a silver car, and the witnesses identify you in a lineup.

You can see how quickly a wrongful conviction may occur in the above example. Expert legal representation protects your rights. Our lawyers will investigate your case to find proof of your innocence. If you believe mistaken identity occurred in your case, call Wallin & Klarich today for your free consultation.

False Allegation

Sometimes alleged victims deliberately make false reports. For example, your accuser wanted to get revenge because you started dating his ex. So, he calls your phone and constantly harasses you. Then, when he doesn’t get a reaction, he calls the police and says you threatened him with a baseball bat. 

In this case, we’d challenge his credibility in court during cross-examination. We’d present text messages, emails, and witnesses to demonstrate his history o of his harassment. If successful, the court would drop the assault with a deadly weapon charge. 

Hiring a skilled assault defense lawyer is the first step to proving your innocence. Receive your free consultation by calling our office today!

Hiring A Skilled Defense Attorney | How We Can Assist You

Wallin and KlarichSerious accusations require a skilled and experienced defense attorney. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich stands out among the crowd of West Covina criminal defense firms. Our attorneys specialize in defending clients accused of aggravated assault and understand the most effective defense strategies. You should consider many factors when choosing a criminal defense lawyer. However, four key characteristics set us apart, including:

  1. Loyal Advocates
  2. Skilled Negotiators
  3. Solid Record for 40+ Years 
  4. Specialized Legal Knowledge


Your Loyal Advocates | The Wallin & Klarich Difference 

Loyalty is hard to find. Unfortunately, many law firms treat clients like case numbers rather than real people. At Wallin & Klarich, we believe you deserve respect and dedication. But we don’t just say it; we show it through our devotion to your defense and our interactions with you. Our attorneys promptly address all your concerns because we never want you to feel dismissed or unheard. Rest assured, our communication with you will always be straightforward and genuine. With Wallin & Klarich at your side, you can walk into court confident that we have your best interests in mind. Moreover, we’ll be prepared to put up our strongest fight. 

Skilled Negotiators | 40+ Years of Success

Wallin & Klarich has a history of success spanning 40+ years. We’ve obtained the best possible results in complex aggravated assault cases and helped our clients avoid spending time behind bars. Their stories stand as a testament to our skilled legal negotiation. But, more importantly, they renew our motivation to defend others falsely accused in West Covina. Our passion for helping clients has not wavered in over four decades and counting. Discover how our skilled negotiators can help you fight false assault accusations in West Covina, CA. Contact us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a highly-experienced defense attorney.

When you need help, we will be here. 


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