Assault with a Deadly Weapon Lawyer Los Angeles
Veteran criminal defense Attorney protects your rights
If the police arrest you for any type of crime, seek competent legal counsel immediately. Assault with a deadly weapon is one of the most serious offenses you can be charged with in California. Depending on certain factors — the type of weapon, whether the victim sustained any injuries, your criminal history — you may be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Further, assault with a deadly weapon carries the stigma of a “violent crime” and can hinder opportunities in your personal and professional life.
However, by retaining the services of an experienced defense attorney, you can increase your chances of having the charges reduced or dismissed. And, your lawyer can ensure your rights are protected at every turn of your case.
California violent crime statistics
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the total number of violent crimes in Los Angeles in 2019 was 29,400. Of those violent crimes, 17,216 involved some type of aggravated assault. San Bernardino, California, while having a significantly lower population than Los Angeles, had 2,858 violent crimes in the same year, and 1,766 involved an aggravated assault.
A simple comparison of these two cities suggests that more than half of all violent crimes being committed in Los Angeles County & San Bernadino County are aggravated assaults. These types of crimes pose a danger to the public and are thus prosecuted swiftly and harshly by the criminal justice system in California. If you or a loved one is arrested for any type of assault, seek legal aid immediately — the state will move quickly to make an example out of you.
Penalties for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction
According to California Penal Code Section 245, assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) occurs when you attack another person with a deadly weapon or use force that is likely to cause great bodily injury. While most ADW offenses are prosecuted as felonies, the crime is considered a wobbler — it can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the specifics of your case. The judge will consider numerous factors such as past convictions, the lethality of the weapon you used, and the age of the victim.
These are the penalties for misdemeanors and felonies in California:
- Misdemeanor —You face a maximum of one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000 for misdemeanor child pornography charges in California.
- Felony — A felony child pornography conviction will range between 16 months and 8 years in the state prison and fines as high as $100,000.
Contrary to popular belief, a misdemeanor is not a slap on the wrist. While not as severe as a felony, it can still be costly to your wallet, freedom, and reputation. Further, if convicted, you will have a criminal conviction for a violent crime on your record.
Defense for assault with a deadly weapon
If the police arrest you for assault with a deadly weapon, you must move quickly. Cooperate with law enforcement. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and anything you say can be used against you. You also have the right to refuse to answer questions and ask to speak with your lawyer. After booking, request that you speak to your attorney and stay quiet until he or she arrives.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to use a wide range of defense tactics, including:
- Lack of intent — One option is to attack the prosecution’s charge that you acted willfully — if your actions were accidental, you could not be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
- Weapon was not deadly — You may also be able to argue that the weapon in question was not “inherently dangerous,” and thus the charges should be reduced.
- Self-defense — In the event that you used deadly force to save your life or the life of another, you may be able to argue that you acted in self-defense.
- False allegation — The victim might mistake you for someone else. Or the victim may be making a false allegation to cause legal trouble for you.
Every assault case is different. After your attorney has time to review the details of your case, he or she can help you create a solid defense strategy.
What is a “deadly weapon” in California?
The State of California considers any instrument or object that is capable of producing, or likely to cause, great bodily injury or death, to be a deadly weapon. Some of the most common items that may be considered a “deadly weapon” include:
- Stick or baseball bat
- Baseball Bat
- Unloaded weapon
- Golf clubs
- Vicious animal or dog
- Blunt Object
These are only a few examples of items that may be used as “deadly weapons.” Any item that can cause substantial bodily harm may be considered deadly — ashtray, wrench, cooking pan, vase, etc.
Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Los Angeles & San Bernadino
An accusation of assault with a deadly weapon can seriously upturn your life. Lead defense attorney Ruzanna Poghosyan founded RP Defense Law more than 14 years ago. Today, Ruzanna continues to fight doggedly for the rights of Californians just like you. Whether you are charged with assault with a deadly weapon, battery, or any other crime, Ruzanna is ready to be your voice. Call (818) 646-3443 or contact the firm online to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. For your convenience, we have office locations in Encino and Ontario, CA.